The omission of the word has caused a storm in the world of football, with FIFA’s boss insisting he is just as angry
FIFA chief Gianni Infantino has responded to the furore over allegations that the organisation’s code of ethics has been compromised, promising to reinstate the word ‘corruption’ in official regulations.
German newspaper Der Spiegel, working off information provided by ‘Football Leaks’, alleged last week that Infantino had been personally involved in a rewrite of rules that removed references to corruption.
FIFA hit back, arguing that the change was made merely for the sake of “clarity” in several translations of the document .
But Infantino has now claimed that he was angered by the omission, and has pledged to restore the original text that refers to bribery and corruption charges.
“Corruption out of the regulations? That’s what hit me, too, and nobody noticed that the word even appears in the French version,” the FIFA president said in an interview with Swiss daily Blick.
“You can write in big, bold letters: I’ll demand at the next congress that this word be reintroduced. Because we do not tolerate corruption in FIFA.”
One of the other allegations filed by Football Leaks and Spiegel was that during his time with UEFA Infantino had helped top clubs such as Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain dodge Financial Fair Play regulations.
But while Infantino admitted consulting with the teams involved, he dismissed the notion that anything untoward had happened.
“Look, that’s also something that can be portrayed either way. Our goal at UEFA has always been to keep the clubs with us. So you negotiate and seek solutions – that was my job as Secretary General,” he added.
“The fact is, in the history of financial fair play, 30 violations have been detected. With all but one club there were agreements. Agreements and negotiations are expressly allowed.
“And then it was approved by an independent body of professionals. They could have refused or made changes. Fifty top people from clubs, lawyers, and so on looked at the cases – I mean, could I put something like that together in the back room? Impossible.”
While there has been talk of Europe’s top clubs breaking away to form a Super League, Infantino believes that there is little chance of such drastic change at the top of the game.
“PSG and Man City to a Super League? No, I do not think so. I also cannot imagine the Bundesliga without Bayern Munich,” he said.
“I’ve been in football for 20 years and the idea of a Super League has been around many times. It’s natural to want to get the most out of it.
“That’s why we want to make a Club World Cup, which is better than the possible Super League; everything stays together and no one wants to split. We must prevent that because we believe that football must remain within its structures.”
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