30 April 2020 – A police report obtained by AFP on Wednesday showed that suspicions of impropriety against fallen FIFA boss Sepp Blatter over a controversial TV deal “were well-founded” despite Swiss prosecutors dropping the case.
Swiss legal chiefs suspected Blatter of having signed a “contract unfavourable to FIFA” with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) then led by Jack Warner, who has since been banned from football for life and charged with corruption by American justice officials.
The deal had granted television rights for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups to the CFU for $600,000 (536,000 euros), an amount deemed to be significantly below market price.
“Blatter acted more in Warner’s interests than those of FIFA,” said one of the documents from the investigation.
“By failing to assert a claim by FIFA against the CFU when he found out about it, Blatter accepted that Warner would therefore illegally enrich himself at the expense of FIFA,” added the investigators.
As a result of “the inaction of Blatter against the CFU or Warner, FIFA suffered damages amounting to $3.78 million.”
However, the Swiss attorney general’s office confirmed earlier this month that they did not intend to prosecute 84-year-old Blatter for granting television rights to the CFU.
It was one of the two cases launched against him in 2015, for “suspicion of unfair management and breach of trust”.
Blatter, however, still faces a second criminal investigation over the controversial payment of two million Swiss francs (1.89 million euros) to Michel Platini, the former president of UEFA, in February 2011.
Contacted by AFP on Wednesday, Blatter said he did not want to comment.
“This procedure concerning the contract with the CFU was opened at the same time as that concerning the payment to Platini and dates from September 2015.
“Since then I have not been questioned on either case.”