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October 2020
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Amazing unbelievable development in the Fifa battle; sadly not on UK news

By Tony Attwood

A UK exclusive for Untold!

Back in the old days ex-US Justice Minister Loretta Lynch and the Swiss Federal Prosecutor Michael Lauber worked together to tackle corruption.

As Attorney General of the USA, Loretta Lynch was keen on this idea of a united approach to fight the corruption that was obviously endemic in Fifa, and personally announced her own crusade against corruption in world football.

We know that Federal Prosecutor Lauber (the most senior law officer in Switzerland) is now himself being prosecuted for having had meetings with Infantino that were not registered and without others present – which is all highly irregular.   And we know Infantino is fighting a rear-guard action as the Swiss legal system moves in on him for a variety of alleged offences.

But what of ex-US Justice Minister Loretta Lynch?  The lady who was really gunning for Fifa, and using the full force of US judicial might – just as happened last time around when the Americans took over a Fifa conference and arrested a vast number of delegates.

As recently as September 2015 as US attorney general Loretta Lynch virtually declared war on Fifa having made it clear that the arrests of Fifa officials in May 2015 was just the start.

Five years on, Lauber is the subject of the criminal investigation.  But where is Loretta Lynch?

Well it turns out that last year, Fifa changed its law firm in the USA, moving to “Paul Weiss”.  And seemingly straight after that the Paul Weiss firm was joined by a distinguished lawyer, ex-US Justice Minister Loretta Lynch.  Except that neither Paul Weiss nor Fifa chose to tell anyone about this!

Realisation of what happened only emerged when Fifa announced that Gianni Infantino (who as noted is defendant number 1 in the current Fifa scandal being played out in Switzerland) will, despite the legal case against him, open the Fifa summit conference this coming in October, to discuss … wait for it

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Business ethics in football.

Now I maybe should pause here for you to stop laughing: Infantino opening the conference on business ethics in football.  And the ex-US attorney general being part of it.  Of course I must add that in the present round of trials and hearings in Switzerland no one has been found guilty yet.  But even the fact that they are under suspicion, given their past record, might urge everyone else to take a back seat.

But Loretta Lynch, the former US attorney general who made that rousing announcement that she was going to take on Fifa didn’t say that she’s now working with the law firm that represents Fifa in the USA.

Just to be clear and because this is so weird I am going to give a quick resume…

Infantino, faced with a criminal prosecution that has already brought down the chief prosecutor in Switzerland is running a conference on business ethics in football, supported by the woman who launched a crusade against corruption in world football, by which she obviously meant, Fifa.

And remember Infantino is not just accused of doing naughty things with Fifa, he is accused of having secret meetings with Lauber, the result of which was that several other lines of investigation were compromised.

These cases include abuse of office, and that infamous trip using a private jet which was signed off by the head of Fifa governance Tomaz Vesel at the heart of which was a totally fabricated non-existent meeting that Infantino had to use the jet to get back for.

Already there is outrage in Switzerland and in most of the football world (although not in the UK where there seems to be a ban on reporting the cases) – outrage that the top legal official in Switzerland could be corrupted by Fifa, outrage that Infantino has not been suspended or at the very least voluntarily stepped down pending the outcome of  the enquiries.

Of course Infantino himself denies any wrongdoing and he’s innocent until proven otherwise, but there is so much dirty linen flying around that the moment it is causing surprise, alarm and utter consternation that Infantino is carrying on, and seemingly is being supported by the lady who said she was going to bring Fifa down and clean it up (although not necessarily in that order it seems).

The plan appears to be one in which Infantino carries on as if the whole matter is a mere detail that will quickly be resolved in his favour.  He recently, for example, visited the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, in London.  Then he was off to the United Nations office in Vienna to sign documents declaring Fifa’s co-operation in the fight against drugs in sport.

Maybe now the UK media will wake up and cover the story.  But don’t hold your breath.

And for now it is just Untold that chooses to cover it in depth.  And we’ll have more very shortly.

 

4 comments to Amazing unbelievable development in the Fifa battle; sadly not on UK news

  • Zedsaunt

    Ancient memory stirs – was it in the 1850s a Russian General, out in the sticks, created a division on paper which became real in the paperwork of the Defense bureaucracy in Moscow, and the Tsar’s Treasury paid, and continued to pay, the General taking the sums?

    Or, better still, in a UK Northern city, no more than a handful of years ago, in a church of a devout faith, a venerable parish priest died after many years service and a young, virile, handsome priest arrived from the homeland to take his place. All went well for some weeks but then, in accordance with the traditions, the night before the wedding, a bride and her entourage attended the church for a pre-wedding meeting, the wine was opened, passion took over.

    News of the orgy immediately spread. The consternation of the church fathers was profound. Nothing could be openly admitted, it would shame the church beyond measure, but to sack the priest, to reproach the priest in public, to order him back to the homeland, send him away, would reveal the scandal. Accordingly, a decision was reached and acted upon. A new priest arrived from the homeland, the priest already there was quietly put out to pastoral work. The church congregation paid the wages of both men.

    Infantino has a perfect monicker for the scandal. Loretta Lynch was destined for the headlines from the moment of her baptism. The only person missing is Danny DeVito. The Grifters Paradise. The script was co-authored by Elmore Leonard and James Ellroy. Once the most beautiful game in the world, now a perfect suit cut for the Trump era.

    Thank you Tony. For the work that you do, and for the fact you would keep your eye on it.

  • Kind of you to say so Zedsaunt. These are not the most popular articles here by any means at all, but I do get that little sparkle of joy each time I can find a way to mention the news in the Swiss paper that the law was being changed so that delegates to the international organisations holding their conferences no longer had diplomatic immunity, was only covered in the UK by Untold.

  • Nitram

    Tony

    You say “These are not the most popular articles here by any means at all”.

    And that is what makes all this all the more frustrating. I used to read every article you wrote with utter disbelief, then with frustration but now with anger.

    Our media are a shameful lot at the best of times, but their decision not to report on this disgraceful affair is beyond shameful.

    From the fiddling of expenses to the use of slave labour, and our scribblers deem it not worthy of their precious time and effort.

    But, and this is a big but, as I have said on here many times, and as you suggest yourself, whenever I raise this at work eyes immediately glaze over.

    I mention the corruption, the errant FA bids, the slavery, and yes you get the odd ‘tut tut’ but in the next breath we’re back to the weekend ‘Accra’ the way VAR is stitching up THEIR club, oh and wouldn’t it be great if we got the next World Cup.

    Unfortunately as big as this story is, to most fans it’s not as important as to whether Holding handled the ball or not.

    Either way Tony as the famous saying says ‘all that is needed for bad men to succeed is for good men to do nothing’ so please, don’t give up the fight and maybe, just maybe our scribblers will skip a day of revelry in the Toppled Bollard and at least give it a mention.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Most of the time those with money and influence can change destiny , or pervert it ,or delay the course of justice if there is a willing party to help covert it. There are fixers who will do it for a price.
    ‘He who wealth has hope . He who has hope , has everything.’

    And in most cases the baton is passed on to the next in line who may start off with integrity at heart,but soon falls for the lure of filthy lucre.And it goes on and on. The gravy train never stops giving .

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