NFA distances itself from Infantino charges

By Michael Uugwanga

THE Namibia Football Association (NFA) has distanced itself and refuses to comment on criminal charges facing FIFA president Gianni Infantino, despite the NFA being an association member of FIFA.

Infantino faces charges over his dealings with Switzerland Attorney General Michael Lauber, authorities said last month.

The criminal investigation relates to three meetings Infantino had after his election in 2016, with Switzerland’s then attorney general Lauber, who was investigating many different allegations of corruption under the previous president of 17 years, Sepp Blatter.

Swiss prosecutors have previously found indications of criminal conduct related to the meetings between the two men.

Last month, Lauber offered his resignation after a court found that, while Lauber’s office was investigating FIFA-related corruption, the prosecutor had tried to hide a meeting with the FIFA head and lied to his supervisors in the Swiss judiciary.

Lauber is now set to leave his post at the end of this month.

Infantino, a lawyer by training, had two separate meetings in 2016 and one in 2017 with Lauber of which according to FIFA it was for Infantino to discuss the investigations, assure Lauber that he was intent on reforming FIFA, and to “offer cooperation”.

When reached for comment on the matter, NFA acting secretary-general Franco Cosmos refused to be drawn in the discussion.

“We are not FIFA. It (criminal charges) has nothing to do with us… so therefore the people that can give you more comment on that is FIFA. We are just a member. We cannot go into that and say anything,” he said.

Infantino has become a popular figure on the continent with his proposal to make African football more appealing such as making African football business oriented like in the rest of the world.

In February this year, Infantino said that FIFA is in the process to support African football by creating an African Super League which could generate an estimated $200 million over (N$3.4 billion) in revenue, and make it one of the top 10 football competitions in the world, changing the financial reality of football on the continent.

Additional information: The Guardian and BBC Sport