May 3 – FIFA president Gianni Infantino is once again in the crosshairs of Swiss justice. The football boss as well as two other FIFA executives are the subject of a criminal investigation for “slander” by local authorities in Fribourg in a dispute with Swiss lawyer Philippe Renz.
French newspaper Le Monde and Swiss newspaper La Liberté report that the canton of Friborg, led by prosecutor Laurent Moschini, has opened an investigation. FIFA’s legal director Emilio Garcia Silvero as well as the head of human resources Kimberly Morris are also a part of the case. Renz is battling against what he sees as FIFA facilitating double representation by agents, even in the latest agents’ regulation that has just been introduced.
Sport7 and its managing partner Renz accused the Swiss boss of world football of having committed “multiple violations of the Olympic Charter, of the basic universal principles of good governance of the movement Olympic and sports events, as well as the IOC’s code of ethics” by “supporting the organised crime that is rampant in the world of player transfers and by muzzling certain bodies of FIFA (such as its Ethics Commission) for this purpose directly or indirectly.”
Those allegations led to FIFA complaining about slander.
In turn, Renz has responded with a counter-complaint for slanderous denunciation. The prosecutor closed the complaint against Renz in August 2022. The prosecutor has now taken on the case of slander against Renz.
“None of the competent federal authorities to whom we addressed dared to tackle their conflicts of interest, not more the IOC which quickly closed our denunciation,” said Renz.
“FIFA then attacked me and Sport7 not only criminally, but also with disciplinary and civil complaints before the Supervisory Authority for Lawyers and two courts in Zurich. Four denunciations to muzzle us, which ended in a beautiful own goal, a 4-0 defeat.”
Infantino is also under investigation for “incitement to abuse of authority, violation of official secrecy and obstruction of criminal proceedings” for his secret meetings in 2016 and 2017 with the former attorney general Michael Lauber. He has always maintained his innocence, claiming that he can neither remember the meetings nor what was said at the time.
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