Lausanne: Sepp Blatter told AFP yesterday he was "very surprised" that French authorities had seized documents from the country's football federation in connection with a Swiss criminal investigation in which he is the target.
"I am very surprised by this," Blatter, FIFA's former president, said after the Swiss attorney general announced that French authorities had searched the French Football Federation (FFF) headquarters. The raid seized documents linked to Blatter's infamous 2.0-million Swiss franc to ($2.0 million, 1.8 million euros) payment to UEFA's fallen president Michel Platini.
Blatter said the search was surprising since the payment in question "was not made to FFF nor UEFA, but put into the private account of Michel Platini in a Swiss bank.
The office of the Swiss attorney general said the FFF consented to the French Financial Prosecution Office's search of its Paris base, which was carried out on Tuesday.
Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings against Blatter last September over a suspected "disloyal payment" in 2011 of two millions Swiss francs (£1.35million) to UEFA president Michel Platini for work allegedly carried out by the Frenchman between 1999 and 2002.
"The office of the attorney general of Switzerland required the mutual legal assistance of the French judicial authorities in connection with the criminal proceedings against Mr Joseph Blatter," a statement read yesterday.
"Pursuant to that request for mutual legal assistance of January 14, 2016 and in close coordination with the office of the attorney general of Switzerland, the French Financial Prosecution Office proceeded (on Tuesday) to a search of the offices of the French Football Federation (FFF) in Paris with the latter's consent. The office of the attorney general of Switzerland (OAG) was present during the search.