Switzerland’s attorney general’s office launched criminal proceedings against FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Friday.
The allegations allege misappropriation, with self-dealing suspected as the purpose by many, on Blatter’s part in his role as the soccer governing body’s leader. The charges pertain to contracts in the Caribbean and Europe. Given that the most explosive allegations against FIFA involve Africa and the Middle East, the current case may precede others.
The Swiss attorney general’s office explained in a statement:
On the one hand, the OAG suspects that on 12 September 2005 Mr. Joseph Blatter has signed a contract with the Caribbean Football Union (with Jack Warner as the President at this time); this contract was unfavorable for FIFA. On the other hand, there is as suspicion that, in the implementation of this agreement, Joseph Blatter also violated his fiduciary duties and acted against the interest of FIFA and/or FIFA Marketing & TV AG.
Additionally, Mr. Joseph Blatter is suspected of a disloyal payment of CHF 2 Mio. to Michel Platini, President of Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), at the expense of FIFA, which was allegedly made for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002 ; this payment was executed in February 2011.
On 25 September 2015, representatives of the OAG interrogated the defendant Joseph Blatter following a meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee. At the same time, Michel Platini was heard as a person asked to provide information (Article 178 of the Swiss Code of Criminal Procedure). Furthermore, the OAG conducted on 25 September 2015 a house search at FIFA Headquarters with the support of the Federal Criminal Police. The office of the FIFA President has been searched and data seized.
After winning election to his fifth term as FIFA president earlier this year, Blatter resigned contingent on the body electing his replacement, which likely comes next year. An international raid involving U.S. and Swiss authorities arrested more than a dozen people employed or connected in some way to FIFA immediately before Blatter’s re-election.