FIFA pressed to sue Blatter and Platini by own governance body

Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter during happier times in 2008. Keystone / Steffen Schmidt

The governing body of world football, FIFA, is considering whether to sue its former head, Joseph “Sepp” Blatter - and the person once tipped to replace him, Michel Platini - to reclaim CHF2 million ($2 million) from the duo.

This content was published on December 12, 2019 - 13:54
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Whilst president of FIFA, Blatter authorised the payment to Platini in 2011, which was latter labeled “disloyal” for breaching FIFA’s code of ethics. Both men were later banned from the game for significant periods and fined, although they both deny any wrongdoing.

Swiss prosecutors have also opened a criminal investigation covering Blatter’s tenure as FIFA president, which is ongoing but has yet to produce any charges.

FIFA has until the end of this month to lodge a complaint with the Swiss courts before the case breaches the statute of limitations. This fact was brought up by FIFA’s governance committee that last month demanded that the sporting body takes legal action.

In an emailed statement, FIFA told swissinfo.ch that it was aware of both the governance committee resolution and the time limit on launching a legal bid.

“We were and still are waiting to know the outcome of the investigations of the Swiss authorities which are ongoing for more than four years,” the statement read.

“FIFA will defend its interests and rights because these are the interests and rights of football and FIFA members.  We have a duty to manage the financial affairs of FIFA in a responsible manner and to be fully transparent.”

FIFA has shown in the past that it is willing to go to the courts to claw back ill-gotten gains from others. In 2016, it issued a writ in New York claiming tens of millions of dollars in damages from individuals and entities.

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