FIFA President, Gianni Infantino

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino has defended his reputation after a Champions League broadcasting contract he signed was leaked from a Panama-based law firm’s database.

Infantino says in a statement published by FIFA he is “dismayed and will not accept that my integrity is being doubted.”

As UEFA’s legal director in 2006, Infantino co-signed a deal to sell TV rights for Ecuador to a marketing agency linked to the ongoing FIFA bribery scandal, British daily The Guardian reported.

The agency, Cross Trading, was owned by Argentine marketing executives Hugo and Mariano Jinkis who were indicted last year by American federal prosecutors investigating a bribery conspiracy in international soccer.

Infantino says he “never personally dealt with Cross Trading nor their owners” in a tender process conducted by an agency retained by UEFA.

ALSO FROM documents leaked from the Panamanian law firm = An Argentine businessman who was extradited to the U.S. for his involvement in the FIFA corruption scandal is linked to offshore companies.

Alejandro Burzaco transferred $370 million to secret companies in tax havens. The money was used to pay the South American soccer confederation for broadcasting rights to the region’s top club tournament over a 14-year period.

The information was reported yesterday by Argentina’s La Nacion. The newspaper is part of a global group of news organizations working with the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Burzaco was previously the chief executive of sports marketing company Torneos y Competencias. He was one of 14 people indicted by U.S. authorities last year on bribery, vote-rigging and other corruption charges.
AND A known soccer player, a fashion designer whose dresses are worn by first lady Michelle Obama and 16 other mostly business figures are on a list of prominent Serbs who used the services of law firm Mossack Fonseca to create offshore companies in various tax havens.

The Belgrade-based KRIK network investigating crime and corruption, which issued the list yesterday Tueday after going through documents leaked from the Panama-based law firm, says Darko Kovacevic had officially earned about $2,000 a month while playing for Spanish club Real Sociedad during the 2006-2007 season.

The leaked documents, however, show the club had paid Kovacevic $1.4 million that season to his offshore account. That means that both the club and Kovacevic had avoided paying full taxes in Spain, KRIK says.