He’s only been in the job three months but already FIFA President Gianni Infantino has had to fight off a series of allegations. Reports in Germany now suggest the Italian could be suspended for 90 days.
German newspaper Die Welt claim Infantino, who replaced the disgraced Sepp Blatter, ordered the recording of a council meeting to be deleted. It is claimed that the meeting was of the Fifa Council and took place in Mexico City last month.
Die Welt said it had seen emails suggesting that Infantino had ordered senior FIFA officials to delete recordings of a controversial meeting of the FIFA Council, formerly the executive committee, before last month’s Mexico City Congress.
Meanwhile, Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger published copies of emails it said were exchanged between FIFA officials and which it said confirmed they were obeying instructions to wipe out a recording.
This follows several reports in recent days that suggest Infantino had been conspiring to get rid of former FIFA audit committee chairman Domenico Scala, though the organization has denied any wrongdoing on Infantino’s part and said there are no formal proceedigs against Infantino.
“In accordance with standard practice, all official Fifa meetings – including council meetings – are recorded and archived. This was the case for the meeting in Mexico City in question,” a FIFA statement read.
“The email exchange that makes mention of the deletion of audio files refers to a copy of the original audio file of the meeting that was improperly stored on a local drive. This mention does not refer to the officially archived audio file. That file exists and is properly saved at Fifa.”
FIFA was swept into controversy when the Congress in Mexico passed a resolution giving the FIFA Council the power to appoint or dismiss members of its independent watchdog committee.
This effectively gave the Council, headed by Infantino, the right to fire ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert and ethics investigator Cornel Borbely and the head of the audit and compliance committee, Domenico Scala.
Scala, who had overseen the FIFA reforms, resigned in protest the following day, saying the resolution undermined recent reforms. Eckert and Borbely have remained in their posts and said the change would have no impact on their work.
Last week, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, another German newspaper, alleged there had been a plot at the meeting to get rid of Scala after he antagonised FIFA Council members, although FIFA in reply described this as “ludicrous.”