Authorities in Switzerland and France teamed up on Tuesday to raid the offices of the French Football Federation in connection with the corruption investigation of former FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
“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 yesterday 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,” the Swiss office of the attorney general noted in a press release. “Documents were seized in connection with the suspected payment of CHF 2 million that is inter alia the subject of the proceedings.”
The raid came on the same day that a soccer official in the United States pleaded guilty to money laundering and other charges in relation to the FIFA investigation and less than two weeks after FIFA elected Gianni Infantino to Blatter’s former position. Amid numerous arrests of FIFA officials, the organization suspended Blatter, who now endures six years banishment from the sport.
“I’m very surprised at this for the very simple reason that the two million Swiss francs that FIFA paid to Michel Platini as part of an oral contract that existed between Michel Platini and I were neither transferred to the FFF or to UEFA but to a private account of Michel Platini’s in a Swiss bank,” Blatter said in a statement regarding his former adviser Platini, also embroiled in the investigation.
The Swiss attorney general’s office opened up a case involving misappropriation and mismanagement on Blatter and Platini in September. The release on Tuesday’s event notes that the raid came “in connection with the criminal proceedings against Mr Joseph Blatter.”