18 November 2018

FIFA accuses media of trying to erode trust in Infantino, new top officials

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Some media outlets are trying to undermine the credibility of the new FIFA leadership, in particular, its President Gianni Infantino and Secretary General Fatma Samoura, the world governing football body said in a statement posted on its website. reports citing TASS that on Friday, some media outlets published reports based on the information provided by the Football Leaks online platform. Germany’s Der Spiegel claimed that during his tenure as UEFA General Secretary, Infantino, together with ex-UEFA President Michel Platini, "went out of his way to ensure that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain avoided harsh punishment" for Financial Fair Play violations.

According to FIFA, four weeks ago, a group of journalists sent several hundred questions to it, "based on private and internal e-mails and other information which had been accessed (illegally) by third parties". It stressed that that some media outlets ignored most of the answers trying to discredit FIFA.

"It seems obvious from the 'reporting' carried out in some media outlets that there is only one particular aim: an attempt to undermine the new leadership of FIFA and, in particular, the President, Gianni Infantino, and the Secretary General, Fatma Samoura," the statement runs.

The governing football body pointed to the changes that have taken place since the new FIFA leadership had assumed office. "As is widely known, FIFA was in a desperate situation in 2015, as it sought to recover from decades of neglect and mismanagement," it stressed. It noted that many former FIFA officials were facing criminal proceedings in Switzerland and abroad, while many others who had discredited the organization for many years were no longer at FIFA.

"It comes as no surprise that some of those who have been removed, replaced, or who are unhappy, continue to spread false rumors and innuendo about the new leadership. We are aware that there are people who, out of frustration, would like to undermine FIFA, for their own self-interested reasons," the statement reads.

"It is always a challenge to change things, to move forward, and to bring people together in order to do things better," Infantino said. "And, as we are resolutely implementing the reforms at FIFA, it was always clear to me that I would face strong opposition, especially from those who cannot anymore shamelessly profit from the system they were part of. But this is why I was elected and for me there will be one focus and one focus only: to improve and develop football, worldwide. And today I am more committed and decided than ever to continue fulfilling this task."

"It also deserves to be pointed out that NONE of the ‘reports’ contains anything which would even remotely amount to a violation of any law, statute or regulation," FIFA stressed in its statement.

2018.11.03 / 14:33
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