UEFA statement on Cross Trading contract

UEFA is dismayed by certain stories in the media suggesting that there might have been untoward or improper conduct in connection with a television rights contract.

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UEFA is dismayed by certain stories in the media suggesting that there might have been untoward or improper conduct in connection with a television rights contract concluded with a company based in Ecuador in 2006. For the record, and as repeatedly explained to the media, there was never any suggestion that anything improper took place. These explanations have been conveyed to the media in a clear, reasonable, and perfectly transparent way. It is therefore all the more regrettable that, despite the explanations given, some sections of the media have chosen to misrepresent matters and mislead the public by suggesting or implying otherwise.

It is correct that UEFA was asked some time ago whether it had any commercial dealings with certain companies and/or individuals named in the US indictment. At the time of our initial response we had not had the opportunity to check each and every one of our (thousands) of commercial contracts and so the answer given was initially incomplete. That is the reason why Gianni Infantino initially thought, based on the information provided by UEFA, that there had been no previous UEFA contracts with any companies and/or individuals named in the indictment. That is also why FIFA gave this information to the media.

We have now had the opportunity to conduct a full review of our commercial contracts and, as regards this particular TV contract in Ecuador dating back to 2006, it should be pointed out that the rights in question were awarded after an open tender conducted by TEAM Marketing, acting on behalf of UEFA. The rights were awarded to Teleamazonas/Cross Trading because they made the highest offer on the market.    

For the record, neither UEFA nor Gianni Infantino have ever been contacted by any authorities in connection with this particular contract. Of course, if UEFA is contacted for any reason then it will be more than happy to cooperate.  

Furthermore, and given the way in which this story has been misrepresented in the media, UEFA wishes to go on record with the statement that Gianni Infantino has been an outstanding member of UEFA staff for many years, a man who has always acted with complete professionalism and integrity, and that this attempted slur on his character and on the reputation of UEFA, based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever, is not only a sad day for football but also a sad day for journalism.

UEFA would also like to take this opportunity to affirm that as always it is totally open to discuss and explain all relevant background information to the media on this or any other matter.

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