FIFA president Gianni Infantino has shown interest in funding of a global agency to tackle corruption in sport
Establishing a body like the World Anti-Doping Agency to tackle financial corruption, match-fixing and the influence of organized crimes in the world of sport has been a topic being talked about for over a decade now, but without a detailed proposal.
However, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association(FIFA) has now shown interest in funding of a global agency to tackle corruption in sport. The FIFA president Gianni Infantino confirmed the same on Monday, as he spoke at a United Nations event in Austria.
“We at FIFA are ready to invest in it,” said the FIFA president, suggesting “maybe the creation of such an agency would help make sport safe in the decades to come.”
As Infantino spoke on Monday, the corruption trial for Qatari soccer and television executive Nasser al-Khelaifi and former FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke was opening in Switzerland, who were suspected of corruption in soccer removing a generation of international leaders from office lifting Infantino to the FIFA presidency in 2016.
Infantino made his funding pledge while signing a cooperation agreement between FIFA and the Vienna-based UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
The event was attended by speakers-cum-diplomats from Russia and Qatar, winners of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting votes in 2010 which FIFA later asked the Swiss federal prosecutors to investigate.
Even though criminal proceedings are open against Infantino’s predecessor Sepp Blatter and the former UEFA President Michel Platini for allegedly mismanaging FIFA funds not directly linked to World Cup bidding, no convictions have yet been secured in Switzerland. Blatter and Platini were questioned in the past couple of weeks.
“Never again. Never again corruption in football,” said the present FIFA president Infantino, who is himself under investigation in Switzerland over some meetings he had with then-attorney general Michael Lauber.
Lauber had to leave office a couple of weeks ago after he was disciplined for failing to declare a meeting he had in June 2017 with Infantino here he took no notes and eventually misleading a subsequent internal investigation.