FIFA lodges criminal complaint with Swiss
Sepp Blatter, president of the Zurich-based football world governing body FIFA, has lodged a criminal complaint with the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office over the awarding of hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 football World Cups.
It concerns more than one individual and has come after a FIFA investigation into corruption allegations.
Sepp BlatterExternal link filed the complaint after a recommendation from judge Hans-Joachim EckertExternal link, chairman of the FIFA ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber.
It concerns the “possible misconduct” of individuals connected to how the World Cups were allocated, FIFA wrote in a statement on Tuesday.
There is a suspicion that “international transfers” were made of assets linked to Switzerland. The organisation wants the Swiss authorities to investigate.
No details were given as to which financial or business laws might have been broken.
In the ethics committee report released on November 13, which looked into allegations of corruption in awarding the World Cup to Russia and Qatar, the Eckert-led body said "the various incidents which might have occurred are not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole.”
It came after an investigation by prosecutor Michael Garcia into the bidding process that FIFA has been reluctant to reveal in full.
However, the report did indicate that Garcia had intended to start a formal investigation against certain unnamed persons.
The criminal complaint is the latest twist in a chaotic drama playing out since last Thursday.
Garcia has himself appealed to FIFA, challenging Eckert's decision to close the case against Russia and Qatar, and stating that his team's 430-page investigation reports were misrepresented by the German judge.
Garcia and Eckert are expected to meet on Thursday at an undisclosed location.
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