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FIFA requests Switzerland to continue Blatter probe

By AFP |   02 May 2020   |   6:25 pm  

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 4, 2019, FIFA president Gianni Infantino gestures as he speech during the sign memorandum of understanding with World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at promoting and protecting public health globally through football, in Geneva. – FIFA president Gianni Infantino is suspected to have met a Swiss prosecutor investigating corruption in football to drop an investigation, according to a report of Swiss regional daily newspaper La Tribune de Geneve on April 27, 2020. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)

FIFA has asked Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to maintain its investigation into former president Sepp Blatter, football’s global governing body said on Saturday.

French newspaper Le Monde and German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung claimed earlier this month the disgraced 84-year-old will not be prosecuted over a charge relating to TV rights sold to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU).

That was one of two criminal cases opened against Blatter in 2015 for “suspicion of unfair management and breach of trust”.

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

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

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 (536,000 euros), an amount deemed to be significantly below market price.

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“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.”

Blatter, however, still faces a second criminal investigation over the controversial payment of two million Swiss francs (1.89 million euros) to Michel Platini, the former president of UEFA, in February 2011.

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