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Blatter still under scrutiny

The Zurich prosecutors' office is still looking into charges made against Blatter

(Keystone Archive)

FIFA president Sepp Blatter could still face legal action over his running of world football's governing body, despite the withdrawal of the original complaints made against him.

Zurich prosecutor Hansruedi Müller said on Monday that cantonal lawyers were still looking into accusations of embezzlement levelled against the 66-year-old Swiss last month by 11 of FIFA's executive committee members.

On Friday FIFA announced that the members had agreed to drop the accusations, following Blatter's re-election as the organisation's president.

But according to the Zurich prosecutors' office the case is far from closed.

"We will continue to investigate the matter," Müller explained, "because it concerns an alleged abuse of office, which is something we must look into even if the complaint has been withdrawn by those who first made it."

Müller hinted however that the withdrawal of the original accusations was likely to help Blatter's cause.

"We will take this withdrawal into account and we will perhaps be following up our investigations with a little less vigour," the prosecutor said.

Blatter has always maintained that the allegations against him were made only in an effort to destabilise his election campaign.

If that was indeed the intention, the plan appears to have misfired. On Wednesday Blatter was given a second four-year mandate after winning more than two-thirds of the votes cast by the world's football associations.

FIFA general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen has already agreed to step down from his post in July, having first brought the allegations against Blatter to the attention of the executive committee.

swissinfo with agencies


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