Swiss police raid Uefa offices over Panama Papers
Gianni Infantino has become embroiled in the Panama Papers affair
Gianni Infantino is “dismayed” and “will not accept” that his integrity is being doubted
Swiss police have raided Uefa’s headquarters in Nyon to seize details of a contract signed by the Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, following the Panama Papers leak.
The files show that Infantino - formerly director of legal services at Uefa - co-signed a television rights contract in 2006 with two businessmen who have since been caught up in football’s corruption scandal. Uefa said it is co-operating fully with the Swiss police.
A statement read: “Uefa can confirm that today we received a visit from the office of the Swiss Federal Police acting under a warrant and requesting sight of the contracts between Uefa and Cross Trading / Teleamazonas. Naturally, Uefa is providing the Federal Police with all relevant documents in our possession and will cooperate fully.”
Uefa said that the recently-elected Fifa president Infantino was “dismayed that his integrity was being doubted” in media coverage of the case.
The Mossack Fonseca documents detailed a 2006 contract to sell the Ecuadorian rights to the Champions League, the Uefa Cup and the Super Cup. The deal was with two figures who have since been accused of bribery as part of the US investigation into corruption at Fifa. Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis, his son, are currently under house arrest in Argentina.
Cross Trading, the Jinkis’ Argentinian company which was registered in the South Pacific tax haven of Niue, bought the rights for $111,000, then immediately sold them to the Ecuadorian broadcaster Teleamazonas for $311,170.
Uefa had initially denied doing business with any of the 14 individuals indicted by the FBI, but admits now its response was incomplete. After a full review of thousands of commercial contracts, it accepts the deal was done as part of an “open tender” - a process conducted by Team Marketing on behalf of Uefa - and the rights were sold to the highest bidder.
Uefa said: “Neither Team nor Uefa had any reason to believe that there was anything suspicious or untoward about an agency relationship between Cross Trading and Teleamazonas.”
It said any bilateral deals between Teleamazonas and Cross Trading were “their business, not ours”. “We do know that [it was the]best offer for these FTA [Free-to-Air] rights in Ecuador. And that’s why we took it.”