25 Sep 2015

Sepp Blatter: Swiss begin criminal investigation

Swiss prosecutors open criminal proceedings against Fifa President Sepp Blatter over a TV rights deal.

Sepp Blatter (Reuters)

The Swiss attorney general’s office issued a statement saying Mr Blatter is suspected of criminal mismanagement or misappropriation over a TV rights deal he signed with
former Caribbean football chief Jack Warner in 2005.

He is also suspected of “a disloyal payment” of two millions Swiss francs to Uefa President Michel Platini, who is the favourite to succeed him, in 2011.

The announcement was made following the last-minute cancellation of a news conference world football’s governing body had been due to hold today.

Mr Blatter was expected to speak for the first time since his number two, Secretary General Jerome Valcke, was placed on leave last week following accusations regarding ticket sales at the 2014 World Cup.

Fifa said in a statement it would continue to cooperate with the Swiss authorities, adding: “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 throughout the investigation.

“Today, at the home of Fifa, representatives from the Office of the Swiss Attorney General conducted interviews and gathered documents pursuant to its investigation. Fifa facilitated these interviews as part of our ongoing cooperation.”


In June, Mr Blatter, who has always sttrongly denied any wrongdoing, announced his intention to stand down from his post, four days after being re-elected to a fifth term.

He had been in the post for 17 years, but had come under intense pressure following corruption allegations against Fifa officials.

Days before his announcement, the FBI raided a hotel in Zurich, where Fifa is based, and arrested several officials on charges of money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud.

A separate investigation is being carried out by the Swiss authorities into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.