BERLIN – FIFA late Friday attacked media outlets and former officials in the wake of news reports that its president, Gianni Infantino, influenced the new code of ethics at the world football governing body.
FIFA said in a lengthy statement the reports were "an attempt to undermine the new leadership of FIFA and, in particular, the President, Gianni Infantino, and the Secretary General, Fatma Samoura."
Looking at past FIFA officials, the statement added: "It comes as no surprise that some of those who have been removed, replaced, or who are unhappy, continue to spread false rumours and innuendo about the new leadership."
Infantino was elected FIFA president in 2016 in succession of Joseph Blatter who has since been banned from football. Police in Switzerland, the United States and other countries are conducting various corruption probes against former FIFA officials.
Germany's Der Spiegel, citing leaked internal documents, reported Friday that Infantino made suggested corrections to the revised guidelines of the independent ethics commission.
In response to a draft from Vassilios Skouris, chairman of the ethics committee, Infantino responded with several suggested changes.
They included that preliminary investigations into officials should be carried out only on the instructions of the chairperson of the investigatory chamber, and questioned whether FIFA should claim jurisdiction when national associations do not act on violations.
But FIFA said "that NONE of the 'reports' contains anything which would even remotely amount to a violation of any law, statute or regulation."