Sepp Blatter Lawyer: Client Did ‘Nothing Illegal or Improper’

Joseph Blatter
The Associated Press

Sepp Blatter says he intends to remain as FIFA’s president until next year’s special election despite Switzerland’s attorney general opening criminal proceedings against him.

Blatter’s lawyer released a statement on Monday responding to the developments:

President Blatter spoke to FIFA staff today and informed the staff that he was cooperating with the authorities, reiterated that he had done nothing illegal or improper and stated that he would remain as president of FIFA.

On the (UEFA President Michel) Platini matter, President Blatter on Friday shared with the Swiss authorities the fact that Mr. Platini had a valuable employment relationship with FIFA serving as an adviser to the president beginning in 1998. He explained to the prosecutors that the payments were valid compensation and nothing more and were properly accounted for within FIFA including the withholding of Social Security contributions.

Because of the continuing investigation President Blatter will answer no further questions at this time.

In May, a police operation involving several nations arrested fourteen people, either employed by FIFA or with business interests intertwining with it, on various corruption charges. Blatter escaped that initial dragnet to win election to a fifth term as FIFA’s president. He subsequently promised to resign once members choose a successor in 2016.

Last Friday, Switzerland’s attorney general launched criminal proceedings against the Swiss citizen leading FIFA for “criminal mismanagement” and “misappropriation.”