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Swiss police raid UEFA headquarters to examine contract

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images

Swiss police raided the headquarters of the European soccer body UEFA in Nyon on Wednesday to gather information about a contract signed by Gianni Infantino, now head of the global soccer body FIFA, that was reported in the Panama Papers.

Media reports on Tuesday said that UEFA sold broadcast rights for Champions League matches to Argentine pair Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, owners of Cross Trading, who allegedly resold them to Ecuadorean broadcaster Teleamazonas for three times as much.

UEFA has confirmed that FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who was working for UEFA at the time, was one of two of its officials who signed the contract. UEFA has denied any wrongoing by itself or Infantino.

"UEFA can confirm that today we received a visit from the office of the Swiss Federal Police acting under a warrant and requesting sight of the contracts between UEFA and Cross Trading/Teleamazonas," UEFA said in a statement.

"Naturally, UEFA is providing the Federal Police with all relevant documents in our possession and will cooperate fully."

Hugo and Mariano Jinkis are among several dozen football officials indicted in the United States as part of a huge corruption scandal which has swept the game and thrown FIFA into turmoil.

Infantino was elected as FIFA president in February to try and lead the federation into a new, scandal-free era.

In a separate statement, UEFA denied suggestions in some media reports that the rights were sold at below the market price.

UEFA said the rights were sold to Teleamazonas after an "open, competitive, tender process" conducted by TEAM, its exclusive agent."

"We can also add that the offer made by Teleamazonas was very much the "going rate" for this category of rights in comparable markets in Latin and Central America," UEFA said in a statement to Reuters.