African FAs, Caribbeans back under-fire FIFA President Infantino over 'slandering' Football Leaks

Published on: 06 November 2018
African FAs, Caribbeans back under-fire FIFA President Infantino over 'slandering' Football Leaks
FIFA President Infantino has received a strong backing from African FAs.

African FAs and their counterparts from the Caribbean have strongly condemned the European media for the recent targeting of Gianni Infantino, insisting the FIFA President has their resolute support in the wake of some damaging leaks.

All the zonal football bodies in Africa and the Caribbean issued a statement on Tuesday night to back the Swiss official after the latest installment of the so-called Football Leaks data set.

The powerful group of African and Caribbean football leaders say they will fight against the attempts by the European media to 'denigrate' the FIFA President with elections looming.

On Friday, a consortium of media organisations led by the German magazine Der Spiegel released a number of stories based on the documents obtained by whistleblowing website Football Leaks.

The leaks detail the role of Infantino (then UEFA secretary general, now FIFA president) in helping Manchester City and Paris St Germain avoid the stiffest penalties for breaching financial fair play regulations in 2014 and Infantino's alleged strong-arming of the FIFA ethics committee.

FIFA's computer systems were hacked to obtain some data and confidential information on Infantino which seems to have irked the Africans and the Carribeans to issue the statement after their meeting in the Egyptian capital on Tuesday.

"We Presidents of the Africa and Caribbean Zonal associations raise our voice against the actions of a certain European press aimed at denigrating and slandering the President and the administration of FIFA," the read the statement signed by all the six zonal FA Presidents of Africa and the Caribbean Football Union.

"Faced with this scandalous campaign, we want through this message mark our distance vis-à-vis the abject behaviour and false allegations aiming at discrediting the achievements and positive changes introduced in football by President Gianni Infantino since his ascent to the top of FIFA.

"We are proud to express our confidence and unwavering support for his clean-up policy of World football.

"We will fight with the last energy this campaign of malicious denigration campaign."

This is the latest of the unwavering support Fifa president Gianni Infantino has secured in Africa thanks to his good relationship with football leaders on the continent.

Just one month ago African football declared that it will support Infantino in his re-election bid next year, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Ahmad revealed.

Caf officially endorsed the candidacy of Infantino at its congress in Egypt with messages of support from the confederation itself and also on behalf of member associations.

Infantino announced in June he would run for re-election as head of football's world governing body when elections are held in Paris in June 2019 but the latest leaks could threaten his bid.

Football Leaks first obtained confidential documents in 2015 while the New York Times say German magazine Der Spiegel have obtained large quantities of exclusive information including emails, messages and contracts.

The breaches have led to some major football stories being released, including proposals to change the transfer market, tax evasion by players and coaches in Spain.