FIFA willing to cooperate with ongoing investigation into Blatter

Zurich –

Switzerland’s attorney general’s office said Friday it has opened criminal proceedings against Blatter for possible criminal mismanagement and embezzlement of FIFA funds. The Swiss federal prosecutor’s office also said that Blatter’s office was searched and data was seized.

According to an official FIFA statement, “Since 27 May 2015, FIFA has been cooperating with the Office of the Swiss Attorney General (OAG) and has complied with all requests for documents, data and other information.” “We will continue this level of cooperation during the course of the investigation.”

The statement read: “Today, at the home of FIFA, representatives of the Swiss Attorney General’s Office conducted interviews and collected documents for its investigation. FIFA facilitated these interviews as part of our ongoing cooperation.” We will not be commenting further on the matter as it is an active investigation.”

Swiss authorities say FIFA vice-president Michel Platini was also questioned as a witness over an ‘incredible payment’ of $2 million he received from Blatter in February 2011. Under Swiss law, a payment is classified as fraudulent if it is against the best interests of the employer — in this case FIFA.

Platini, who is the favorite to replace outgoing Blatter as FIFA president next February, was a personal adviser to his former mentor when he started in football politics.

The attorney general’s office said the payments by Blatter from FIFA funds were for work allegedly performed between January 1999 and June 2002. Blatter was questioned after chairing a meeting of FIFA’s executive committee.

The 79-year-old Swiss was set to hold a news conference for international media following the meeting, but it was first postponed and then abruptly cancelled. Blatter is the first person to be formally questioned as a suspect in the Swiss affair, which FIFA instigated last November after it complained of possible money laundering in the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding competition won by Russia and Qatar. Was.

Friday’s charges also relate to World Cup broadcasting contracts Blatter agreed with former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner in 2005.

“It is suspected that in the implementation of this agreement, Joseph Blatter also breached his fiduciary duties and acted against the interests of FIFA,” the Swiss Federal Office said.

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