By Tony Attwood
My article Switzerland, Fifa and the crooks. Have they all been involved in anything else? had only been on line for 15 minutes before I started receiving links from interested readers in Europe, pointing me to more and more articles about the extraordinary engagement of the Mafia in Switzerland.
Of course, I want to be clear on two things before I go on. First, and very obviously I don’t have any personal knowledge of these matters – I am just picking up what is being said in the media across Europe. It is not a topic the UK’s media wants to know about – but that is often the case with stories Untold runs.
Second, no one else is making a football connection with today’s reports about the mafia in Switzerland.
Our last big series on match fixing began in October 2019, with the headline Exclusive: Uefa admit match fixing is now too big for them to fight it. And I knew “Exclusive” was a safe claim because no one in the UK was touching the story.
And what a story it was! Uefa admitting that they could not deal with match fixing by themselves and wanted agencies experienced in such matters to help. This was followed by several other articles from Untold, but very few people took any notice. I’ve listed the articles at the end of this piece in case you are interested.
So now we have two issues: a view that the mafia has moved into Switzerland, and a clear view from Uefa that match-fixing is rampant.
Of course, of course, of course I can’t prove the two are connected. I don’t have any contact with the mafia, and Untold doesn’t have the resources to mount an investigation; that is a laughable notion.
But just ask: in which international enterprise has the big, big, big money sloshing around often uncontrollably?
Or try this: which international body based in Switzerland has been associated with criminal activity at such a level that American armed officers moved in and arrested members at a gathering?
Or how about which international body based in Switzerland has found its previous hierarchy engaged in criminal activity, and is now engaged in a battle which has already seen the head of the Swiss legal system removed from his job?
And which country is talking about mafia engagement in the country all the time? Take for example this headline from Blick?
It continues, “The Italian mafia is well and truly established in Switzerland…. In November, the Italian “carabinieri” arrested over 100 members of the ‘Ndrangheta. It turned out that the mafia members in question were using Switzerland as a base and transshipment point for their drug and arms trafficking.”
“Switzerland needs to do a better job of fighting the mafia, according to former federal prosecutor Rosa Cappa. To do so, specialized police units and stricter laws regarding mafia assets must be put in place.
The situation in Switzerland is very serious. Thirty years ago, the mafia only brought us their money in their bank accounts. Today, its members live among us, they have settled down.’
Ms. Cappa, now a lawyer in Ticino, spoke of some 20 mafia cells in Switzerland. According to her, the mafiosi and their families infiltrate the economy by investing in restaurants, hotels, buildings and businesses in order to launder money. They are also integrated into society: they live in villages, go to church and are active in associations.
So we are being told that there are two major problems in Switzerland. On the one hand Fifa is constantly in the dock over its behaviour. You might remember that in May 2018 Rui Pinto, the man behind the Football Leaks revelations, (which revealed all the details of the Manchester City payment manipulations which led to the Uefa case against Manchester City, and which in turn failed because Uefa for an inexplicable reason left it too late to mount its case), revealed that Michael Lauber – the most senior legal official in Switzerland – had secretly met FIFA President Gianni Infantino (the man he was supposedly investigating) in March and April 2016. Labuer has now fallen and is under investigation.
And there are multiple stories circulating about mafia involvement in Switzerland, weird though that sounds to English ears.
Now throw in a third level of action: Uefa admitted two years ago that match fixing in Europe had got totally out of hand and it couldn’t control it any more. (Untold covered that, the UK media didn’t).
On 27 May 2015 seven Fifa officials were arrested at the Hotel Baur au Lac, Zürich, and as ever the English media were shocked. (If they had read Untold in the months before they would have seen that the event was about to happen).
But maybe I am seeing connections which are not there. Infantino / Luber; match fixing out of control; seven officials arrested; Swiss most senior judicial officer removed over Fifa affair; Swiss media full of talk about the mafia having infiltrated their country; English media refuse to touch the story for fear of….
Nah…. maybe it’s all coincidence. Same as with, Switzerland take a greater interest in Fifa – at last.
Of course I can’t provide evidence. I just have a group of friends who tip me off about what is openly and widely being discussed in the European papers.
- Why is the UK media utterly ignoring Uefa’s declaration on match fixing?
- The myth of media neutrality over Xhaka and match fixing can’t be maintained
- Further evidence to support Uefa claim that match fixing is out of control
- How the Premier League set up a system that allows match fixing to flourish
- Modern day match fixing in football: how it works
- Corruption flares up again in Italy, as Premier League figures don’t look too clever
- How much does a club have to spend on transfers to get a trophy?
- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?
- How the Taliban infiltrated the World Cup and used it to maintain its war on women
- Which 4 Arsenal transfers are being mentioned the most by the media?