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  • FIFA President in Controversy Over Deleted Recording


    Infantino has some explaining to do (Getty Images)
    (ATR) FIFA president Gianni Infantino may face an ethics inquiry after reports in a German newspaper alleged he ordered the deletion of a recording of the FIFA Council meeting in Mexico last month.

    Die Welt obtained emails revealing that Infantino instructed FIFA's legal director Marco Villiger, who is now deputy general secretary, to delete the recording of the meeting.

    Infantino is now under pressure to explain his actions – and could be hearing from the FIFA ethics committee.

    In a statement to Around the Rings, FIFA's investigatory chamber said there were "no formal proceedings going on against Mr. Infantino". At least for the time being.

    "We are not in a position to indicate if we have or have not preliminary investigatory proceedings against an individual," the spokesman said.

    Commenting on the audio file, FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer tells ATR that it was standard practice for all official FIFA meetings – including council meetings – to be recorded and archived.

    “This was the case for the meeting in Mexico City in question. 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,” she said. “This mention does not refer to the officially archived audio file. That files exists and is properly saved at FIFA.”

    The deleted recording affair is the latest controversy to hit Infantino since he was elected to replace Sepp Blatter on Feb. 26.

    Earlier this week, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper alleged Infantino plotted at the FIFA Council meeting in question to remove audit and compliance chief Domenico Scala over what the FIFA chief had labeled an “insulting” $2 million salary offer.

    Scala, who was at the forefront of efforts to clean up FIFA’s battered image in the wake of multiple corruption scandals, quit after Infantino made a change that gives the FIFA Council the power to appoint or dismiss members of its independent watchdog which he had chaired. He said it undermined governance reforms.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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