Fifa wants Switzerland to continue Blatter probe


The international football federation has asked the Swiss attorney general’s office (OAG) to continue an investigation into its former president Sepp Blatter, after the OAG decided to abandon part of the proceedings last month.

Fifa confirmed it filed motions urging Swiss authorities to carry on the investigation.

The OAG last month announced it would not file charges against the 84-year-old Blatter for granting television rights for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) for a sum deemed to be below market price. It is one of two criminal cases that were opened against Blatter in 2015 for “suspicion of unfair management and breach of trust.”

“We have filed official submissions with the OAG arguing strongly that the investigation be continued,” Fifa said.

“Indeed, Fifa will consider all legal options to ensure that the relevant people are held to account,” it added.

On Wednesday, AFP obtained a police report showing suspicions of impropriety against Blatter over a controversial deal “were well-founded” despite Swiss prosecutors dropping the case.

The deal had granted television rights for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups to the CFU, presided over at the time by Jack Warner for $600,000 (R11.3 million), an amount deemed to be significantly below market price.

“Blatter acted more in Warner’s interests than those of Fifa,” said one of the documents.

“By failing to assert a claim by Fifa against the CFU when he found out about it, Blatter accepted that Warner would therefore illegally enrich himself at the expense of Fifa,” added the investigators.

As a result of “the inaction of Blatter against the CFU or Warner, Fifa suffered damages amounting to $3.78 million (R71.3 million)”

Blatter, however, still faces a second criminal investigation over the controversial payment of two million Swiss francs (R39.1 million) to Michel Platini, the former president of Uefa, in February 2011.

RELATED STORY: Suspicions over Blatter in FIFA TV deal ‘well-founded’

By Mthokozisi Dube

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