Sepp Blatter Lands in New Trouble
Fifa has lodged a criminal complaint against former president Sepp Blatter over the finances of a museum in Zurich, Switzerland. According to the the complaint it relates to the involvement of the former Fifa president Sepp Blatter and other former officials in the Fifa museum project.
The allegation against him is the latest of all the charges he was facing before now. A financial impropriety was filed against Blatter, who resigned from his post as president in 2015 amid a corruption scandal.
The 84-year-old has always denied any wrongdoing. Fifa, who is the football’s world governing body, say Blatter’s previous administration cost them 500m Swiss francs (£420m) to renovate “a building that the organisation doesn’t own”, while also “locking itself into a long-term rental agreement on unfavourable terms”.
“Given the massive costs associated with this museum, as well as the general way of working of the previous Fifa management, a forensic audit was conducted in order to find out what really happened here,” said Alasdair Bell, Fifa’s deputy secretary general (administration).
Fifa also said “That audit revealed a wide range of suspicious circumstances and management failures, some of which may be criminal in nature and need to be properly investigated by the relevant authorities.”
“We came to the conclusion that we had no choice other than to report the case to state prosecutors, not least because the current management of Fifa also has fiduciary responsibilities to the organisation and we intend to live up to them, even if those before us dismally failed to.”
The complaint has been sent to the Zurich prosecutor, and Fifa says they will “continue to cooperate with the authorities in Switzerland and elsewhere so that everyone who has a hand in it will be brought to book and held accountable for their actions”.
The museum project began in 2013, two years before Blatter, who was Fifa president for 17 years, announced his resignation. Sepp Blatter’s lawyer Lorenz Erni, says Fifa’s accusations are “baseless and vehemently repudiated”.
The former Fifa president currently serving a six-year ban from all forms of football. After he was found guilty on some of the crimes he was accused of.