Swiss Police Opposes Dismissal of FIFA’s Blatter Case
Swiss police found that Sepp Blatter turned a blind eye to the illegal breach of a World Cup broadcasting contract and allowed FIFA to lose millions of dollars, the Associated Press reported last week.
FIFA wrote off a US$3.8 million debt from a Caribbean TV deal which then-FIFA president Blatter signed in 2005.
The office of Switzerland’s attorney general dropped in March part of its investigation launched in 2015 regarding Blatter despite police reports offering evidence that he granted preferential treatment to former FIFA vice president Jack Warner in return for votes in FIFA presidential elections.
The office stated no reason for ending its probe into the matter, the AP said.
The agency claims it obtained the federal police file that said the 2005 deal sold the rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups to the Caribbean Football Union controlled by Warner for a combined $600,000.
Warner licensed the rights to a company controlled by his family which then sold those rights for about $20 million to a Jamaican broadcaster.
The deal between the Caribbean Union and FIFA provided that consecutive profits would be shared between the two organizations, but FIFA never claimed its $3.8 million share and wrote off the debt in 2011.
“Blatter acted … more in the interests of Warner than in the interests of FIFA,” the AP quoted one of the two investigation reports police sent to the prosecutors in December and January. Blatter was suspected of mismanagement and breach of trust.
“It can be concluded that (…) Warner had received financial advantages in 1998 for Blatter to be elected president of the FIFA”, and that he was further granted “a number of unexplained payments and preferential treatment before the 2002 and 2007 elections,” the police said.
Meanwhile, US prosecutors indicted Warner and several other soccer officials for diverting international soccer funds for their personal benefit over 24 years.
Although they dropped that part of their probe, prosecutors are still looking into another case against Blatter related to a $2 million payment to the president of the European Soccer Union in 2011 and for which the two men were suspended.
If that one is dropped too, FIFA is considering suing the attorney general’s office for failing to prosecute, according to The Guardian.