Swiss open criminal proceedings against Sepp Blatter; Platini quizzed

Berne: Swiss prosecutors have opened criminal proceedings against FIFA chief Sepp Blatter on a day of stunning developments at football’s world governing body.

The Swiss attorney general’s office issued a statement saying 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.

Officers from the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) interrogated Blatter at FIFA headquarters following a FIFA executive committee meeting on Friday. His office was searched and data seized.

An OAG statement said, "Swiss criminal proceedings against the president of FIFA, Joseph Blatter, have been opened on 24 September 2015 on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and — alternatively — misappropriation. On one hand, OAG suspects that on 12 Sept 2005 Blatter signed a contract with the Caribbean Football Union (with Jack Warner as the president then); this contract was unfavourable for FIFA. On the other hand, there is suspicion that in the implementation of this agreement Blatter violated his fiduciary duties and acted against the interest of FIFA and/or FIFA Marketing & TV AG. Additionally, Blatter is suspected of a disloyal payment of 2 million CHF (Swiss francs) to UEFA president Platini at the expense of FIFA, which was allegedly made for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002; payment executed in Feb 2011."

FIFA said it was co-operating with the investigation.

Presser cancelled

Zurich: FIFA chief Sepp Blatter cancelled a press conference here yesterday. No reason was given. The presser would’ve been his first media interaction after the recent suspension of FIFA Gen Secy Jerome Valcke over allegations of a black marketing. 

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