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FIFA chief Infantino quizzed by Swiss prosecutors

FIFA boss Gianni Infantino has been quizzed by two Swiss prosecutors appointed to take over an investigation into his alleged secret meetings with the country’s former prosecution chief, one of the magistrates confirmed to AFP on Wednesday.

“I confirm to you that a confrontation hearing was held in the proceedings conducted by Dr (Ulrich) Weder and myself,” Hans Maurer wrote in an email to AFP.

“However, I do not comment on the time, scope and purpose of this hearing.”

Earlier Wednesday, news outlets Le Monde and Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Infantino was questioned on Tuesday in Zurich, where the headquarters of FIFA are based.

The boss of world football has been facing proceedings since July 2020 over “incitement to abuse authority”, “violation of official secrecy” and “obstructing criminal proceedings”.

Swiss justices accuse him of three secret meetings in 2016 and 2017 with former attorney general Michael Lauber.

Infantino, 52, has insisted that his meetings with Lauber were merely routine.

Lauber eventually resigned while FIFA’s internal justice system cleared Infantino.

Infantino will stand unopposed for a third term as FIFA later this year.

He will be the only candidate when the election takes place at the 73rd FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda on March 16.

Infantino’s third term follows in the line of previous FIFA presidents — Joao Havelange was in charge from 1974 to 1998 and Infantino’s predecessor Sepp Blatter held office from 1998 to 2015.

Infantino was elected in 2016 promising to “restore FIFA’s image” after the federation was plagued by scandal in the final years of Blatter’s time in charge.