FIFA boss Sepp Blatter is now under criminal investigation in Switzerland

Hands up, Sepp.
Hands up, Sepp.
Image: Reuters/Denis Balibouse
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The Swiss attorney general has opened criminal proceedings against FIFA president Sepp Blatter, alleging that he mismanaged the international football governing association and misappropriated funds during his 17 years as FIFA’s top official.

The first suspected crime, according to a statement released by the Swiss attorney general today, is that Blatter’s 2005 “contract with the Caribbean Football Union (with Jack Warner as the President at this time)” was unfavorable to FIFA, and that its implementation was a violation of Blatter’s fiduciary duties. The contract allegedly involved selling television rights to Warner, a former FIFA heavyweight now facing US corruption charges, at below-market rates.

The second crime being investigated is a “disloyal” payment to Michel Platini, the current UEFA president and potential Blatter successor, in 2011. Platini received two million Swiss francs (£1.3 million) from FIFA’s coffers, “allegedly made for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002.”

Authorities said they interviewed Blatter today (Sept. 25). Officials also searched FIFA headquarters in Zurich this morning and seized data from Blatter’s office, according to The Guardian.