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Prosecutor Launches Probe Against Fifa Boss Infantino

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Criminal proceedings have been opened against Fifa president Gianni Infantino by a special prosecutor looking into dealings between the head of the global soccer body and Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber, Swiss authorities said on Thursday.

The special prosecutor Stefan Keller, appointed last month to review complaints against the two men and others, had found indications of criminal conduct related to their meetings , according to the AB-BA watchdog which oversees the Attorney General’s Office.

“This concerns abuse of public office, breach of official secrecy, assisting offenders and incitement to these acts,” the watchdog said in a statement. Both Lauber and Infantino have denied wrongdoing.

Fifa said in a statement that it would cooperate fully while Infantino said that it was “perfectly legitimate and perfectly legal” to meet the Swiss Attorney General. “It’s not a violation of anything,” he said.

“It has been my aim from day one, and it remains my aim, to assist the authorities with investigating past wrongdoings at Fifa,” he added. “Fifa officials have met with prosecutors in other jurisdictions across the world for exactly these purposes.”

Infantino was elected in 2016 to replace disgraced Sepp Blatter, who also become the subject of criminal proceedings in 2015.

Blatter, suspected of criminal mismanagement, was banned by Fifa’s own ethics committee although the investigations against him are still ongoing and he has not been charged. He denies wrongdoing.

On being elected, Infantino promised to clean up Fifa and to put the focus back on football.

Fifa was embroiled in the worst corruption scandal in its history in 2015 which led to several officials being indicted in the United States on corruption-related charges.

Lauber last week offered to resign after the Federal Administrative Court concluded he had covered up a meeting with Infantino and lied to supervisors while his office investigated corruption surrounding soccer’s governing body.

The court said he had made “implausible” statements about a meeting with Infantino.

While Lauber had acknowledged two meetings with Infantino in 2016, he had denied a third meeting reported by media to have occurred in 2017, prompting a disciplinary probe by the agency that supervises the attorney general’s office.

He later said he did not recall the third meeting but that it must have occurred based on diary entries and text messages.

Lauber officially tendered his resignation on Tuesday, his office said, with his last day of active duty set for August 31.

The AB-BA watchdog said Keller had now opened proceedings against both Infantino and regional public prosecutor Rinaldo Arnold who was involved in the meetings, and was seeking parliamentary approval to have Lauber’s immunity from prosecution waived.

“I take note of the fact that a lawsuit has been opened. This is actually a logical step to clarify the facts,” Arnold told Reuters. “It should be mentioned that a case against me was closed last spring last year.”

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DONE DEAL: Barcelona Announce Signing of Memphis Depay

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Barcelona

Barcelona have announced the signing of Memphis Depay, who will join the club once his contract at Lyon comes to an end on June 30.

 

 

This is a case of third time lucky for Barcelona, as they tried to lure the 27-year-old to the Camp Nou last summer and again in January, but they have now got their man.

 

 

Memphis joins on a free and has put pen to paper on a contract until 2023, with the Dutch forward fulfilling his dream of playing for the Blaugrana.

 

 

Barcelona came into this summer transfer window looking to improve in attack, and the arrival of Memphis does just that. In 37 appearances in all competitions for Lyon in the 2020/21 campaign, he scored 21 goals and provided 13 assists.

 

 

Memphis’ desire to sign for Barcelona was a key factor in making the deal happen, as the Catalan club also faced competition for his signature from Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

 

Now, Barcelona fans can enjoy their new forward in action for the Netherlands at this summer’s European Championship.

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New Record: Ronaldo Becomes First Person To Reach 300m Instagram Followers

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Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo may be known as a record goalscorer, but the Portuguese icon has also claimed another accolade – the first person to reach 300m Instagram followers.

The 36-year-old is a long way clear of second-placed Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on 246m, with Ariana Grande third (244m) on the list.

 

 

Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s football rival, Barcelona and Real Madrid’s Lionel Messi, is 81m followers adrift on 219m, sitting seventh in the overall table.

 

 

In fact, the only account on the social media platform which has more followers is the official Instagram account itself on 397m.

 

 

It comes after Ronaldo broke another record in Portugal’s 3-0 win over Hungary, with his two goals moving him past France’s Michel Platini as the all-time record European Championship goalscorer with a total of 11.

 

 

Overall, Ronaldo has 106 goals for Portugal and trails only Iran’s Ali Daei (109 goals) for the most international goals in history.

 

 

Meanwhile, Portugal head coach Fernando Santos has said his side cannot rely on Cristiano Ronaldo to win matches single-handedly ahead of a tantalising Euro 2020 showdown with Germany.

 

 

While Santos is delighted to have 36-year-old Juventus forward Ronaldo at his disposal, he is eager to ensure his entire squad remain ready to contribute.

 

 

“I have to motivate every single player, not just Ronaldo for instance. Portugal’s value is based on our team,” Santos told a press conference.

 

 

“It’s great to have Ronaldo on our side, we’re very proud to have him but Cristiano alone cannot win a match.

 

 

“We will want everyone to be motivated: the starting 11 and those who are brought on.

 

 

“It’s important to be motivated but also focused. The will to win is very important, what comes from inside, from within from your soul, that’s what creates this amazing desire to win.

 

 

“We have to want to win but we have to know how to win because one without the other is useless.”

 

 

Victory for Portugal at the Allianz Arena would guarantee a place in the knockout stages, while leaving their opponents on the brink of elimination.

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Euro 2020: Christian Eriksen To Get Heart-Starting Device After Cardiac Attack

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Cardiac Attack

After a series of tests were carried out by experts in the field, the Inter star will have a potentially life-saving device implanted
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Christian Eriksen will be fitted with an ICD – a heart defibrillator – after he suffered a cardiac incident in the match against Finland, Denmark have confirmed.

 

 

The Inter star fell to the pitch unconscious on the second match day of Euro 2020 and had to be resuscitated before then being transported to hospital.

 

 

Now, after a series of tests carried out by medical specialists, it has been announced that Eriksen will have a potentially life-saving implant installed.

 

 

What has been said?
National team doctor Morten Boesen has been in contact with the cardiac specialist at Rigshospitalet and Eriksen, and this is the latest status: “After Christian has been through different heart examinations it has been decided that he should have an ICD (heart starter). This device is necessary after a cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances.

 

 

“Christian has accepted the solution and the plan has moreover been confirmed by specialists nationally and internationally who all recommend the same treatment.

 

 

“We encourage everybody to give Christian and his family peace and privacy the following time.”

 

 

Has Eriksen spoken since the incident?
Yes. Taking to social media on Tuesday, the attacking midfielder wrote: “Big thanks for your sweet and amazing greetings and messages from all around the world. It means a lot to me and my family.

 

 

“I’m fine – under the circumstances. I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay.

 

 

“Now, I will cheer on the boys on the Denmark team in the next matches. Play for all of Denmark.”

 

 

Will he be able to play football again?
It is not yet known whether Eriksen will be able to play football again.

 

 

It is not unheard of, though, as the example of German forward Daniel Engelbrecht showed.

 

 

Engelbrecht collapsed on the pitch while playing for Stuttgart Kickers in July 2013, having suffered from a heart attack.

 

He was then fitted with a defibrillator and returned to the pitch in November of 2014 after 17 months of recovery.

 

However, Engelbrecht suffered from more heart issues down the line and hung up his boots in 2018 to concentrate on a career in coaching.

 

In terms of players still in the game, Ajax and Netherlands star Daley Blind continues to play at the highest level after having an ICD implanted in December 2019.
-Goal

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