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FIFA president Sepp Blatter will face criminal charges with proceedings being opened by the Swiss attorney general, according to several reports including by Martyn Ziegler of the Press Association.
According to the report out of Switzerland (via Sam Rubenfield of The Wall Street Journal), Blatter will face charges of "criminal mismanagement" and "misappropriation."
Blatter was interrogated on Friday after a meeting with FIFA’s executive committee. FIFA headquarters, including Blatter’s office, was searched on Friday, and data was "seized."
Among the charges is an allegation that Blatter gave a "disloyal payment" to UEFA president Michel Platini totaling 2 million francs ($2.1 million). That payment was is alleged to have been made three months before Platini announced he would not run against Blatter in the 2011 FIFA presidential election.
Here is the full statement from the Swiss attorney general:
Bern, 25.09.2015 – The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has opened criminal proceedings against the President of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) on suspicion of criminal mismanagement as well as – alternatively – on suspicion of misappropriation.
Swiss criminal proceedings against the President of FIFA, Mr. Joseph Blatter, have been opened on 24 September 2015 on suspicion of criminal mismanagement (Article 158 Swiss Criminal Code / SCC) and – alternatively – misappropriation (Article 138 Swiss Criminal Code / SCC).
On the one hand, the OAG suspects that on 12 September 2005 Mr. Joseph Blatter has signed a contract with the Caribbean Football Union (with Jack Warner as the President at this time); this contract was unfavorable for FIFA. On the other hand, there is as suspicion that, in the implementation of this agreement, Joseph Blatter also violated his fiduciary duties and acted against the interest of FIFA and/or FIFA Marketing & TV AG.
Additionally, Mr. Joseph Blatter is suspected of a disloyal payment of CHF 2 Mio. to Michel Platini, President of Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), at the expense of FIFA, which was allegedly made for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002 ; this payment was executed in February 2011.
On 25 September 2015, representatives of the OAG interrogated the defendant Joseph Blatter following a meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee. At the same time, Michel Platini was heard as a person asked to provide information (Article 178 of the Swiss Code of Criminal Procedure). Furthermore, the OAG conducted on 25 September 2015 a house search at FIFA Headquarters with the support of the Federal Criminal Police. The office of the FIFA President has been searched and data seized.
As for all defendants, the presumption of innocence applies for Mr. Joseph Blatter.
We have reached out to FIFA and Blatter for comment.
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