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UEFA probe clears €4m Slovenia betting company investment

GENEVA -- UEFA broke no rules when it sent a multimillion dollar loan for a betting company investment by the Slovenian football federation, according to a document seen by The Associated Press.

The €4 million ($4.4m) deal in June 2015 -- which a UEFA report says was "granted in real exception" -- has been scrutinised because it was signed off by then-UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino and then-Slovenian football president Aleksander Ceferin.

They have since won unexpected elections as presidents of FIFA and UEFA, respectively.

A Norwegian magazine reported that FIFA ethics prosecutors are investigating Infantino's part in the loan. It said UEFA flouted financial protocol to approve the money, and noted that FIFA's code of ethics prohibits individuals from investing in football gambling operators.

The UEFA disciplinary committee then asked its investigations unit to report on claims initially made by Scandinavian media last month.

The inquiry report concluded that UEFA and the Slovenian federation "respected the relevant provisions and conditions" of granting loans to members.

The report notes that FIFA's ethical rules on betting and integrity of matches relate to "persons," not institutions.

The code, therefore, does "neither apply to UEFA, nor to national associations," the document concludes.

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