May 6 – Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has hit back at the governing body and current president Gianni Infantino’s request that the Swiss public prosecutor’s office continue to investigate him.
The Swiss prosecutor’s office had informed Blatter that it intended to close one of its criminal investigations into him for “suspicion of unfair management and breach of trust”. It was expected that a second investigation would also be closed.
The main complaint against Blatter surrounds the signing, in 2005, of a contract granting television rights to the Caribbean Football Union. Rights that were ultimately mis-appropriated by football’s most-wanted, Jack Warner, a former Concacaf president from Trinidad and Tobago.
FIFA called for the investigation to be re-opened and for the prosecutors to interview more witnesses.
Speaking to Le Monde, Blatter said: “We are certain, along with my lawyer, that the prosecutor will not change his verdict. If FIFA wants to appeal to the Federal Criminal Court, it must wait for the final, formal prosecutor’s decision to do so. You can’t say like that: ‘Continue the investigation’. ”
FIFA and Infantino have come under increasing pressure over the relationship between the FIFA president and the Swiss Attorney General’s office concerning a series of undocumented meetings between AG Michael Lauber and Infantino.
Blatter said “FIFA committed a serious error in wanting to reopen” the investigation against him. “Mr. Infantino is crazy and he shoots himself in the legs by attacking Swiss justice and by riding on the back of the Attorney General Lauber… When Mr. Lauber tells the truth about what happened [at the informal meetings], Infantino will be able to pack his suitcase.”
FIFA responded to Le Monde that “Mr. Infantino was never the target of any investigation or procedure at that time or thereafter.”
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