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Swiss Authorities Open Court Case Against FIFA President Blatter

© AFP 2021 / FABRICE COFFRINIFIFA president Sepp Blatter attends a press conference on May 30, 2015 in Zurich after being re-elected during the FIFA Congress
FIFA president Sepp Blatter attends a press conference on May 30, 2015 in Zurich after being re-elected during the FIFA Congress - Sputnik International
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Switzerland started a criminal case against FIFA chief Joseph Blatter, suspected of mismanagement and misappropriation.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Swiss authorities have opened criminal proceedings against FIFA President Joseph Blatter on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General said in a press release Friday.

“Swiss criminal proceedings against the President of FIFA, Mr. Joseph Blatter, have been opened on 24 September 2015 on suspicion of criminal mismanagement (Article 158 Swiss Criminal Code / SCC) and – alternatively – misappropriation (Article 138 Swiss Criminal Code / SCC),” the release reads.

FIFA President Joseph Blatter gestures as he waits for the start of the 39th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Vienna, Austria - Sputnik International
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The Attorney General also suspects Blatter of disloyal payments of CHF 2 millions ($2.05 million) to UEFA head Michel Platini in 2011 at the expense of FIFA, for work allegedly performed in 1999-2002.

"The office of the FIFA President has been searched and data seized," the release added.

On May 27, the US Department of Justice charged 14 people — including nine FIFA officials — with racketeering, money laundering and bribery. Seven FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland on the same day.

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Although FIFA reported that Blatter was not involved in the corruption schemes, the scandal led to his resignation days after he was re-elected to a fifth term.

In July, FIFA’s executive board announced it would elect a new president on February 26, 2016.

Blatter will continue to carry out his duties regardless of the fact that criminal charges have been launched against him because only the FIFA Congress may relieve him of his post, Russian Football Union Honorary President Vyacheslav Koloskov said Friday.

“In comparison to FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valke, who was relieved of duties [during the FIFA investigations], only Blatter can do this, but relieving Blatter in any case can only be done by the [FIFA] Congress and not by any legal decision or authorities, so even while he’s under investigation, he will remain the president of the International Football Federation,” Koloskov told R-Sport.

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