FIFA closes inquiry into Lithuania corruption case

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GENEVA (AP) -FIFA has closed an inquiry into allegations that an official who helps allocate millions of dollars in project grants had embezzled football funds.

FIFA said Wednesday that a court in Lithuania has lifted a suspension which had blocked Julius Kvedaras from working as national football federation president.

"The matter is closed for FIFA," football's world governing body said in a statement to The Associated Press. It had "received information from Lithuania confirming that Mr. Kvedaras is no longer suspended from office."

Kvedaras resumed his football duties Tuesday when he attended a meeting in Zurich of FIFA's development committee. It has a $30 million budget in 2012 to give a maximum of $500,000 per project to national federations.

Last month, a Lithuanian court ordered Kvedaras to stand down for six months during a probe into alleged embezzlement.

Lithuanian media reported earlier this week that a higher court lifted the suspension after accepting his argument that the ongoing criminal case did not involve football federation money.

Kvedaras was elected in March to lead Lithuanian football when the criminal investigation was under way.

All FIFA member nations receive a $250,000 annual grant and can get further funding for training and infrastructure projects.

FIFA said Wednesday it had "actively sought" details about the Kvedaras case.

"There were no concrete allegations regarding any FIFA projects," it said. "In fact, there was no mention of FIFA or UEFA at all in the court order translation which was submitted to us."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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