Swiss Attorney General Opens Criminal Investigation Against Sepp Blatter

By Ty Duffy

FIFA cancelled a press conference with Sepp Blatter today. Here is why. The Swiss Attorney General has opened criminal proceedings against Blatter. He is supsected of “criminal mismanagement” and “misappropriation of funds.”

Swiss authorities interrogated Blatter today, after the ExCo meeting, and searched his office.

The news release mentions contracts with Jack Warner and the Carribbean Football Union and a $2 million payment made to Blatter’s presumptive replacement Michel Platini.

"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."

The payment to Platini, for work purportedly performed a decade previously, was made in February 2011. A few months later, Platini declined to stand against Sepp Blatter in the 2011 FIFA election. Surely a coincidence…