Fifa's deputy general secretary is "100 per cent confident" the organisation's president Gianni Infantino will face no criminal charge, far less be convicted, as a result of the proceedings which have been opened against him.
Infantino is the subject of proceedings opened by a special federal public prosecutor in Switzerland over meetings he held in 2016 and 2017 with attorney general Michael Lauber.
The prosecutor, Stefan Keller, investigated anonymous complaints about the meetings and a statement announcing the opening of proceedings issued last Thursday said there were "indications of criminal conduct" in relation to them.
Fifa and Infantino categorically deny any wrongdoing in relation to the meetings, and deputy general secretary Alasdair Bell said on Monday: "There is something a little bit grotesque and unfair about all this because we are 100 per cent confident that there will never be a criminal charge, far less a criminal conviction against the Fifa president.
"But we have a situation, and we have to acknowledge this, where objectively there is damage to both Fifa and to the Fifa president simply because of the existence of this criminal investigation and we think that's not right."
Fifa say the meetings were held to offer the attorney general the world governing body's full support in its investigations of the alleged criminal activities of the old regime under Sepp Blatter, which Bell referred to as an "organised kleptocracy".
Neither Infantino nor Lauber took notes from any of the meetings, but Fifa insist that the absence of them, or Infantino's inability to recollect details of what was discussed, is not sufficient to warrant a criminal complaint or an investigation.
"We, Fifa , and Gianni Infantino, president of Fifa , have absolutely nothing to hide," Bell said.
"We want the truth to come out, we want to be as transparent as possible, we welcome questions.
"There is no factual basis whatsoever for this criminal investigation. There is no description of criminal conduct of any kind that has been communicated to Fifa, unless meeting the attorney general has somehow become a crime in Switzerland which I rather doubt.
"We have no idea what it is that the Fifa president is supposed to have done wrong or which could even remotely be described as criminal conduct. He went to see the attorney general because it is part of his job to do so."
Lauber has tendered his resignation after an investigation by the supervisory authority for the office of the attorney general found he had concealed the meeting with Infantino.