Pinnick slams Football Leaks over Infantino claims

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President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, has hit out at Football Leaks, describing the website’s latest leaks on FIFA president Gianni Infantino as “hopelessly weak.”

Infantino is accused of helping Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City receive only mild penalties for their violations of Financial Fair Play rules.

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According to Football Leaks, as published in Der Spiegel, City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners allegedly injected £2.3bn into the club over the last seven years through its shareholders and over-valued sponsorship contracts, a practice which was a breach of FFP regulations.

Documents alleged Infantino was involved in negotiations which enabled City and French club PSG to avoid strict sanctions for sidestepping rules regarding sponsorship income.

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But Pinnick dismissed the leaks, saying it won’t stop Africa’s support for Infantino.

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“The leaks are hopelessly weak and it does not affect the fact that Africa sticks with Gianni. Nigeria and the whole of Africa are not bothered by whatever the haters have. We stick with Infantino and the current administration at FIFA,” Pinnick, a member of FIFA’s Organising Committee, said.

“For us, the objective of the hawkers of these weak leaks is to try and smear the reputation of persons who are working so hard to reposition FIFA. Over the past three years, FIFA has embarked on a worthwhile journey to regain its integrity and credibility, and the works of the president, Gianni Infantino, and the secretary general, Ms Fatma Samoura, are outstanding in this regard.

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“Financially, socially and in the area of transparency, FIFA has turned the positive corner from the crisis and credibility deficits of 2015. We now have a FIFA that is truly global in outlook and pursuing the interests of all six confederations and 211 Member Associations without any fear or favour. Some persons are definitely not happy about that.”

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Speaking further, he added, “When Infantino came into office, he opened all the windows to inclusiveness, diversity and true development across board. Today, there are six female members of the FIFA Council and 39 women in the Council and different committees. The FIFA Administration is composed of 45 per cent women and is headed by an African, Ms Fatma Samoura.

“FIFA’s financial situation has improved from the extreme low of $930m during the 2015 crisis to about $6m in the current cycle.

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“As a body committed to harvesting the best for its people, CAF strongly aligns with Infantino’s vision for the 48-team World Cup, as well as the plans for a World Nations League and an expanded FIFA Club World Cup, which all means more money for development, particularly in our developing climes.”

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Football Leaks is a website that reveals transfer fee, wage and contract information about famous footballers, which was formed in September 2015. Its first leak was about third-party agreements between FC Twente and Doyen Sports, which led to the Royal Dutch Football Association banning Twente from European football for three years.

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