New FIFA president ‘dismayed’ after name found in Panama Papers
Reports said Infantino had signed off on a contract with two Argentine businessman who were later indicted
Recently-elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino was “dismayed that his integrity was being doubted” in media reports about a contract he signed several years ago, the global soccer body said in a statement on Tuesday.
The reports from multiple news organizations, citing leaked documents, said Infantino had signed off on a contract with two Argentine businessman, Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, who were later indicted in the United States.
Reuters could not determine if the contract Infantino signed was related to the conduct underlying the indictments.
The reports said Infantino, at the time an official with European soccer body UEFA, signed a contract with the pair for the broadcast rights to Europe’s elite Champions League club competition in South America.
The pair, who owned an Argentine company called Cross Trading, then allegedly sold the rights for a price almost three times higher to Teleamazonas, a broadcaster in Ecuador, the reports said.
Reuters, which has not seen the documents, was unable to confirm this.
Both are among several dozen soccer officials indicted in the United States as part of a huge graft scandal which has swept the game and thrown FIFA into turmoil.
“I am dismayed and will not accept that my integrity is being doubted by certain areas of the media, especially given that UEFA has already disclosed in detail all facts regarding these contracts,” Infantino said in a FIFA statement.
“I would like to state for the record that neither UEFA nor I have ever been contacted by any authorities in relation to these particular contracts,” he added.
“Moreover, as media themselves report, there is no indication whatsoever for any wrongdoings from neither UEFA nor myself in this matter.”