Fifa president Gianni Infantino has been cleared of breaching the governing body’s ethics code. Infantino, 46, who was appointed Fifa’s new president in February, was the subject of an internal investigation into his expenses, recruitment and alleged sacking of whistleblowers.
However, the Fifa Ethics Committee has concluded that there were no “conflicts of interest”, insisting “the benefits enjoyed by Mr Infantino were not considered improper”.
A statement read: “After conducting both preliminary and formal investigation proceedings, the investigatory chamber of the independent ethics committee has decided to conclude its investigations concerning Fifa president Gianni Infantino.
“It was found that no violation of the Fifa code of ethics had been committed by Mr Infantino. The adjudicatory chamber took note of and accepted the decision of the investigatory chamber.”
The Ethics Committee also noted the investigation had been carried out “diligently over several weeks”, revealing it included “a large number of interviews with witnesses and Mr Infantino himself”.
Infantino, for his part, admitted he was pleased with the decision, and thanked “all those who co-operated with the ethics committee to ensure that the facts were heard and the truth prevailed”.
The inquiry stemmed from a leaked internal Fifa memo, which outlined a series of claims relating to the newly appointed Fifa president. One of the alleged improprieties was that Infantino left himself open to a possible conflict of interest by using private jets laid on by a country bidding to stage the World Cup.
It was also claimed he filled senior posts at Fifa without checking candidates’ eligibility for the roles, as well as billing Fifa for mattresses, flowers, a tuxedo, an exercise machine and personal laundry.
Infantino was appointed as Fifa’s president for three years after his predecessor, Sepp Blatter, resigned following a corruption scandal in 2015. Blatter and former Uefa president Michel Platini were both banned from football activities in light of the crisis.