The criminal proceedings opened following secret meetings between Fifa boss Gianni Infantino and Michael Lauber, who then headed the federal prosecutor’s office, have been dismissed, the two special prosecutors responsible for investigating announced on Thursday. “The suspicion of the instrumentalization of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Swiss Confederation by Fifa was not substantiated during the in-depth investigation. On the contrary, the suspicions have been refuted,” write Hans Maurer and Ulrich Weder in a press release.

Fifa expressed “its extreme satisfaction” at seeing the case closed, wondering only why it took so long to clear Mr. Infantino of all suspicion in this affair. He also saw in this decision: “A total and clear victory for me, for the new Fifa and for justice!” “The new Fifa is today a clean, well-managed and solid organization which operates in accordance with the highest ethical and governance standards,” continues the body which oversees world football.

Gianni Infantino had been targeted since July 2020 for “incitement to abuse of authority”, “violation of official secrecy” and “obstruction of criminal action”. Michel Lauber, the former head of the federal prosecutor’s office, was suspected of abuse of authority, violation of official secrecy and favoritism and was forced to resign in 2020. The courts accused him of secret meetings between July 2015 and June 2017 with the president of Fifa and other representatives of the international federation while an investigation was opened into the conditions under which Qatar had won the organization of the 2022 World Cup. These meetings – revealed in 2018 by the “Football leaks” – fueled suspicions of collusion between the prosecution and Fifa.

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