At 86, Sepp Blatter has not finished with the justice of his country. According to information from Worldthe former president of the International Football Federation (FIFA) is the subject of new criminal proceedings in Switzerland.
Already prosecuted since 2015 and indicted in November for “suspicions of fraud, breach of trust and unfair management” and “false titles” by the Public Ministry of the Swiss Confederation (MPC), the Valaisan is this time targeted by an investigation by the Zurich public prosecutor’s office for “suspicion of unfair management”.
The former French secretary general of FIFA, Jérôme Valcke, is also targeted by this investigation. “The presumption of innocence applies until the procedure is definitively closed”declares to World the Zurich public prosecutor’s office.
This new criminal procedure follows the complaint filed in December 2020 by FIFA “in connection with the FIFA museum project, which generated a bill of 500 million Swiss francs [plus de 460 millions d’euros] “.
FIFA denounces a rental contract “above market value”
In its complaint, FIFA noted that its former management had “spent 140 million on the renovation and [à] modernizing a building that the body does not own, while entering into a long-term rental agreement above market value, which will cost FIFA a total of 360 million. »
Contacted by The world, Sepp Blatter’s lawyer, Lorenz Erni, declined to comment. As for Mr. Valcke, he did not want to comment. At the time FIFA filed the complaint, he asserted that he had “never been concerned by the museum file”.
FIFA reproached its former management for having, with the “likely complicity” of Mr. Blatter, sealed in April 2013, and until 2045, an annual rental contract of 8.9 million Swiss francs which would have been unfavorable to the federation and would have resulted in damages of 26.1 million Swiss francs for the organization.
“The complaint alleges the direct involvement of former FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, as well as several other individuals, in activities relating to the agreements signed in connection with the building”announced FIFA in December 2020, noting “evidence of mismanagement [et de gestion] alleged criminal offense targeting the former management of FIFA and companies appointed by it”.
Launched in 2013 near Enge station in Zurich, the project ended three years later with the opening of the museum on February 28, 2016, two days after the election of Gianni Infantino as head of FIFA, then undermined by corruption scandals.
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