FIFA completes internal investigation into alleged corruption

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Zurich, March 31 (IANS) World football governing body FIFA announced on Friday that it has completed the investigation it opened in June 2015, after the office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced investigations into allegations of criminal misconduct, bribery and corruption in world football.

In a statement, FIFA said that more than 2.5 million documents have been analysed and a large number of key witnesses have been interviewed since the opening of the investigation, reports Efe.

“Using the evidence obtained from the document reviews and witness interviews, FIFA’s external counsel prepared written investigative reports on issues of primary concern to the Swiss and US authorities,” FIFA said adding that the reports, which total more than 1,300 pages and include more than 20,000 pages of exhibits, have been shared with the Swiss authorities.

According to the statement, FIFA has agreed that the reports will also be made available to US authorities.

“FIFA committed to conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation of the facts so we could hold wrongdoers within football accountable and cooperate with the authorities,” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

Infantino, who came to the presidency in February 2016 after the corruption scandal broke, said that authorities will “continue to pursue those who enriched themselves and abused their positions of trust in football”.

“FIFA will now return its focus to the game, for fans and players throughout the world,” said Infantino, who succeeded Sepp Blatter as FIFA president after the Swiss boss’ resignation in May 2015.

Also on Friday, FIFA explained that since “the criminal investigations by the OAG and DOJ were ongoing, it was legally restricted from releasing or commenting on the findings from its internal investigation.”

FIFA added that the findings have been used to make specific changes to FIFA’s governance, compliance and finance functions.

“At the end of April, FIFA will issue a detailed report summarising these changes,” the statement said.

–IANS

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