The reports from multiple news organizations, citing leaked
documents, said Infantino had signed off on a contract with two
Argentine businessman, Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, who were later
indicted in the United States.
Reuters could not determine if the contract Infantino signed was
related to the conduct underlying the indictments.
The reports said Infantino, at the time an official with European
soccer body UEFA, signed a contract with the pair for the broadcast
rights to Europe's elite Champions League club competition in South
The pair, who owned an Argentine company called Cross Trading, then
allegedly sold the rights for a price almost three times higher to
Teleamazonas, a broadcaster in Ecuador, the reports said.
Reuters, which has not seen the documents, was unable to confirm
Both are among several dozen soccer officials indicted in the United
States as part of a huge graft scandal which has swept the game and
thrown FIFA into turmoil.
"I am dismayed and will not accept that my integrity is being
doubted by certain areas of the media, especially given that UEFA
has already disclosed in detail all facts regarding these
contracts," Infantino said in a FIFA statement.
"I would like to state for the record that neither UEFA nor I have
ever been contacted by any authorities in relation to these
particular contracts," he added.
"Moreover, as media themselves report, there is no indication
whatsoever for any wrongdoings from neither UEFA nor myself in this
Infantino was elected as head of FIFA in February, vowing to lead
the soccer body out of years of corruption and scandal which saw his
predecessor Sepp Blatter banned for six years.
The documents were
part of the 11 million that were leaked from the Panamanian law firm
Mossack Fonseca in what have become known as the Panama Papers.
[to top of second column]
While offshore accounts are not in themselves illegal, the documents
have caused public outrage over how the world's rich and powerful
are able to move money around and avoid taxes.
Mossack Fonseca, which specializes in setting up offshore companies,
denies any wrongdoing.
Reuters has not seen the documents and cannot verify the media
UEFA was also dismayed at the media reports, which it said were a
slur on Infantino.
"There was never any suggestion that anything improper took place,"
it said, adding that the media had "misrepresented" the facts
"This attempted slur on (Infantino)'s character and on the
reputation of UEFA, based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever, is
not only a sad day for football but also a sad day for journalism."
It added that the broadcast rights in question "were awarded after
an open tender conducted by TEAM Marketing (UEFA's broadcasting and
marketing partner), acting on behalf of UEFA."
"The rights were awarded to Teleamazonas/Cross Trading because they
made the highest offer on the market."
(Reporting by Brian Homewood and Karolos Grohmann; editing by Ken
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