Friday, 3 June 2016

Former Fifa Officials ‘Awarded Themselves Bonuses Worth Over £55m’

Three former high-ranking Fifa bosses awarded themselves huge pay rises and bonuses worth up to £55 million, say Fifa lawyers.

Ex-president Sepp Blatter, ex-secretary general Jerome Valcke and ex-finance director Markus Kattner have been accused by lawyers of making ‘a coordinated effort’ to ‘enrich themselves’.

Documents and electronic data were seized during a police raid by Swiss authorities in Zurich on Thursday, BBC News reports.

Blatter was banned for six years and Valcke for 12 by the governing body’s ethics committee in February, after the pair were suspected of criminal mismanagement of Fifa money.

In a statement for the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, states: ‘Documents and electronic data were seized and will now be examined to determine their relevance to the ongoing proceedings.’

'The evidence appears to reveal a co-ordinated effort by three former top officials of FIFA to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses and other incentives totalling more than 79m Swiss francs - in just the last five years,' said Bill Burck, a partner with Quinn Emanuel. 

The £55million over five years breaks down as: Blatter £23.3m, Valcke £22.9m, and Kattner £9.5m - with the figures released by FIFA on Friday.
Football's world governing body made the announcement on the day Swiss authorities revealed the organisation's headquarters were searched by law enforcement officials.
The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) conducted the search and seized documents and electronic data as part of its probe which initially began into the circumstances surrounding the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
A statement from the OAG read: 'As part of the ongoing criminal investigations in the FIFA affair, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) carried out a search of FIFA's headquarters on June 2, 2016 with the aim of confirming existing findings and obtaining further information.
'Documents and electronic data were seized and will now be examined to determine their relevance to the ongoing proceedings.
'The investigations still relate only to the persons named in earlier statements issued by the OAG and further persons unknown. As proceedings are ongoing, no further information can be given at present.'
Some of the documents appeared to show that current FIFA president Gianni Infantino had signed off on a Champions League television rights deal in 2006 which is under investigation by the US Department of Justice.
Infantino, who at the time was UEFA's director of legal services, has denied any wrongdoing in relation to the documents.
The Swiss police investigation is also looking at Blatter in regard to whether other TV rights were deliberately undersold during his reign as president.
The home of Valcke, who was banned from football for 12 years in February, was also raided by Swiss police in March and he was questioned on suspicion of 'various acts of criminal mismanagement'.

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