Criminal probe into former world football bosses widened

The archive photo show Blatter and Platini at an official event in Switzerland for the European Cup in 2008. Keystone/Alessandro Della Valle

Swiss prosecutors have widened an investigation against two former world football officials to include fraud.

This content was published on November 28, 2020 - 16:26

The office of the attorney general said former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and FIFA vice-president Michel Platini were informed that a five-year probe was being reassessed and extended, according to the Swiss agency, Keystone-SDA on Saturday.

The ongoing criminal proceedings until now have focused on suspected mismanagement and misappropriation linked to a payment of CHF2 million ($2.2 million) from FIFA to UEFA – led by Platini - in 2011.

The former captain of the French national team submitted invoices for uncontracted additional salary as a presidential advisor in Blatter’s first term as FIFA president, from 1998 to 2002. They were rivals in the race for the post of FIFA president in 2016.

Blatter and Platini were summoned separately by the Swiss prosecutor at the end of August and the beginning September.

Both of them have denied any wrongdoing since the allegations have come to light in 2015.

They were temporarily suspended, then banned, from football over the payment by the FIFA ethics committee.

Blatter was also under investigation for a FIFA loan in 2010 to another former FIFA vice president, Jack Warner. But charges were dropped earlier this year.

The Swiss-based FIFA has been rocked by a number of scandals over the last decade. Last month, FIFA’s former number two, Jérôme Valcke, was found guilty of forging documents linked to World Cup broadcasting deals in Italy and Greece. He was given a 120-day suspended sentence by the Swiss federal criminal court.

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