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.
"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.
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.