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France seizes documents in probe targeting Blatter

French Authorities Have Seized Documents From The The Country’s Football Federation In Connection With The Swiss Criminal Investigation Targeting Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter And Michel Platini, Switzerland Said Wednesday.

PTI | Updated on: 09 Mar 2016, 08:59:03 PM


French authorities have seized documents from the the country’s football federation in connection with the Swiss criminal investigation targeting former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, Switzerland said Wednesday.

The search was conducted on Tuesday—two days before Blatter’s 80th birthday—with Swiss officials present while French investigators searched the French Football Federation (FFF) headquarters.

Documents in connection with Blatter’s infamous 2.0 million Swiss franc ($2.0 million, 1.8 million euros) payment to UEFA’s fallen president Platini of France, “were seized” in the search, the office of Switzerland’s attorney general said in a statement.

The statement said it asked France for cooperation on January 14.

“Pursuant to that request... and in close coordination with the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG), the French Financial Prosecution Office proceeded yesterday to a search of the offices of the French Football Federation,” the statement said.

It added that the search was “in connection with the criminal proceedings against Mr. Joseph Blatter.”

A French judiciary source said the search lasted all day and that an official statement was expected later on Wednesday.

Switzerland opened an investigation against Blatter, a Swiss citizen, in September for alleged criminal mismanagement during his tenure as FIFA’s president.

It also suspects Blatter of making a payment that was “disloyal” to FIFA.

That payment was the 2.0 million Swiss francs Blatter authorised to Platini in 2011, reportedly for consulting work the Frenchman performed a decade earlier.

Doubts surrounding that payment led FIFA to ban both Blatter and Platini from football for six years.

In the Swiss case, Platini has been questioned with a status that falls between that of a witness and an accused.

“Mr. Michel Platini’s status in the proceedings has remained unchanged,” the Swiss attorney general said Wednesday.

Between 1999 and 2002, Platini worked for FIFA out of offices rented by FFF in Paris, according to sources close to world football’s governing body.

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First Published : 09 Mar 2016, 08:56:00 PM