Switzerland’s lawmakers have given embattled attorney general Michael Lauber four more years in office despite criticism of his handling of corruption investigations linked to soccer governing body FIFA .
Lauber was renewed for a third mandate with the support of 129 federal lawmakers among 243 valid votes on Wednesday. A parliamentary judicial panel had recommended rejecting Lauber.
A scheduled vote in June was delayed in fallout from reports of a third and undeclared meeting between Lauber and FIFA president Gianni Infantino in June 2017.
Though Lauber has been recused from 25 FIFA-related criminal proceedings — by order of Switzerland’s federal criminal court in June — lawyers for some defendants have argued his actions have harmed the integrity of investigations.
Criminal proceedings are open against former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, former secretary general Jerome Valcke and Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the Paris Saint-Germain president who is a member of European soccer body UEFA’s executive committee. They deny wrongdoing and have not been charged.
Three members of the German organizing committee for the 2006 World Cup and then-FIFA secretary general Urs Linsi have been charged with fraud or complicity in fraud.
Lauber previously acknowledged two undeclared meetings in 2016 when they were reported in the Football Leaks series last November.
Reports in April of a third meeting where Lauber also took no notes led to the office overseeing Swiss federal prosecutors opening a disciplinary case.
SION, Switzerland, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Switzerland took 37 minutes to break down a stubborn Gibraltar side before easing to a 4-0 win while Denmark were frustrated by Georgia in a 0-0 draw in Group D of the Euro 2020 qualifiers on Sunday.
Ireland stayed top of the five-team group with 11 points from five games, two ahead of Denmark, while Switzerland are one point behind in third and with a game in hand. Georgia have four points while Gibraltar have none and have yet to score a goal.
Edimilson Fernandes was close twice early on for Switzerland and Loris Benito rattled the woodwork before Gibraltar were forced to change goalkeepers in the 23rd minute as Dayle Coleing went off injured to be replaced by Kyle Goldwin.
The Gibraltar defence still held firm until Denis Zakaria nodded in from a corner in the 37th minute.
Admir Mehmedi added the second with another header, from a Fabian Schaer cross, in the 43rd minute and Ricardo Rodriguez fired home the third in first-half stoppage time after the ball pinged around the Gibraltar area.
Granit Xhaka had several attempts to get on the scoresheet after the break, with one effort well saved by Goldwin.
The Swiss had to be content with one more goal three minutes for the end when Mehmedi’s shot hit a defender and rebounded to Mario Gavranovic who dispatched the ball into the net.
Denmark were frustrated by Georgia goalkeeper Giorgi Loria and the woodwork in Tbilisi.
Loria twice denied Martin Braithwaite with fingertip saves as Denmark dominated the first half.
Valeri Qazaishvili had Georgia’s best effort with a long-range shot which flew narrowly wide of Kasper Schmeichel’s right-hand post in the 76th minute.
Denmark substitute Christian Gytkjaer cracked a shot against the crossbar with Loria beaten in the 82nd minute but, despite 59 percent of possession, they created few openings and had to settle for a point. (Writing by Brian Homewood Editing by Ian Chadband)
Swiss federal prosecutors are in their fifth year of investigating suspected wrongdoing linked to international soccer officials.
They have shared evidence with the U.S. Department of Justice which has secured more than 40 guilty pleas, convictions and indictments in its sprawling and ongoing soccer investigation.