Infantino is moving to Doha – has the Fifa boss had enough of Switzerland and its justice system?
The president of the world football association is said to be about to settle in Qatar, where the 2022 World Cup will take place.
Fifa President Gianni Infantino (51), Valaisian, lives near Zurich and on Lake Geneva, apparently wants to change geographically. He will soon settle in Qatar, the venue for the 2022 World Cup. At least partially or temporarily, as reported by the African online newspaper “Foot Afrique”.
Accordingly, Infantino is about to open an office in the Gulf state: “The Fifa president is said to have decided to settle in Qatar a year before the start of the World Cup.” Last week, according to the specialist publication based in Algeria, Infantino was in Qatar’s capital Doha to discuss this move.
Do you vaccinate and live with the sheikhs?
Infantino also had himself and his entourage vaccinated against Covid-19 last week, writes “Foot Afrique”. The Qatar plans seem advanced. There is talk in the emirate that the FIFA boss, who is married to a Lebanese woman, has a daughter enrolled at the French Bonaparte school in Doha. For the next school year starting in September.
Infantino avoids having to constantly fly back and forth between the Fifa headquarters in Zurich and the venue of the World Cup. “Everything indicates that Infantino will spend most of his time in Doha, where the kick-off for the World Cup is planned for November 21, 2022.”
“Switzerland at the weekend” asked the FIFA media department in writing whether the representation was correct. Fifa responded just as little to a number of questions about relocation and vaccination, as did Infantino’s discreet Zurich communications advisor Aloys Hirzel to the request to answer the Qatar questions. Infantino’s troops do not deny this. According to insiders, Infantino would be the first FIFA president to move all or part of his seat to the venue of a soccer World Cup, and this apparently even a year before kick-off.
Swiss special investigator leads criminal proceedings
But Infantino’s proximity to Qatar is notorious. His secret meeting with federal prosecutor Michael Lauber took place in a meeting room of the Bernese Hotel Schweizerhof, which belongs to the emirate of Qatar. The meeting room was wall to wall to the Qatar Embassy. Infantino flew to one of the meetings with Lauber in the private jet of the Emir of Qatar. In connection with these ominous meetings, criminal proceedings against Infantino, among others, have been going on since last summer. The special investigator appointed by the federal government, Stefan Keller, is investigating whether the meetings resulted in criminal acts such as favoritism. It is the presumption of innocence.
One of the «Schweizerhof» meetings, the content of which none of at least four participants wants to remember, is particularly mysterious. There are indications of a fifth participant. Maybe an employee of the federal prosecutor’s office, maybe a representative of Qatar.
Amnesty International urges FIFA to “finally act”
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office also conducted proceedings against a sheikh from Qatar: Nasser al-Khelaifi, president of the Paris Saint-Germain football club. It concerns allegations of corruption in connection with media rights. Shortly before the start of the trial last year, Infantinos Fifa suddenly withdrew the criminal complaint against Al-Khelaifi for private bribery. The federal prosecutor broke off part of the indictment. The sheikh was acquitted by the federal criminal court last October.
The human rights organization Amnesty International has just asked in an open letter: “Soccer World Cup 2022 in Qatar: Fifa must finally act.” In Qatar, for example, thousands of foreign workers are still “exploited and abused”. Infantino declared the problem a “top priority”, but lacks action. “Autocrats like the Fifa boss do not oppose autocrats like the one in Qatar”, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” has just stated.
Now Infantino is apparently at least partially deployed to Qatar. Defense lawyers consider the fact that he wants to evade the access of the Swiss judiciary as a precaution to an adventurous thesis. Then the Fifa boss would risk being written out for arrest internationally.
Infantino flirted with the relocation of the Fifa seat
Another question discussed among experts is whether Infantino is preparing to move the FIFA headquarters from Zurich to Qatar. In 2019, Infantino allegedly flirted with relocating its headquarters to Paris.
Last August, after the special investigator opened the criminal proceedings against Infantino, his FIFA intimate partner Alasdair Bell left open whether the world football association could relocate its headquarters abroad in response to the criminal proceedings against Infantino. Dubai (United Arab Emirates) was also discussed as an alternative location at times.
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World football Infantino moving Doha Fifa boss Switzerland justice system