• Switzerland's news in English
Fifa in hot water again over suspicious payments
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Fifa in hot water again over suspicious payments

AFP · 3 Jun 2016, 15:37

Published: 03 Jun 2016 15:37 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

On a day that Fifa also had to deny media reports that new president Gianni Infantino was under investigation, it said Blatter, former secretary general Jerome Valcke and finance director Markus Kattner made a coordinated effort to "enrich themselves" and that Swiss and US authorities were being informed.
Blatter is serving a six year suspension from football over a two million Swiss franc ($2 million, 1.8 million euros) payment made to former Fifa vice president Michel Platini. Valcke and Kattner have both been fired in recent months over World Cup ticket scandals and payments they received.
Switzerland's Office of the Attorney (OAG) General said its investigators "carried out a search of Fifa's headquarters" on Thursday as part of its inquiry into the football world governing body's mismanagement and the awarding of World Cup tournaments.
"Documents and electronic data were seized and will now be examined to determine their relevance to the ongoing proceedings," said the OAG.
Fifa said the search had concentrated on Kattner's office.

'Coordinated effort'

A Fifa statement said that some of the contracts agreed by Blatter, Valcke and Kattner "appear to violate Swiss law".
"The evidence appears to reveal a coordinated effort by three former top officials of Fifa to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses and other incentives totalling more than 79 million Swiss francs ($80 million, 71 million euros) -- in just the last five years," said Bill Burck, a partner with the Quinn Emmanuel audit firm brought in to look at Fifa's books.
"The investigation has produced evidence of breaches of fiduciary duty. It also raises questions about the role of Fifa's compensation subcommittee."
The revelations have raised new questions about the scope of corruption in world football. Burck said the information has been passed on to Swiss prosecutors and will also be sent to US judicial authorities.
Fifa has been battling to redeem its name ever since a raid on a Zurich hotel last year to arrest seven Fifa officials at the centre of a US investigation.
About 40 individuals and two companies now face charges in the United States over more than $200 million in bribes paid for television and marketing contracts.
Separately, Swiss police have been investigating Fifa's management and the award of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 event to Qatar. French prosecutors indicated this week they could also look into the Qatar World Cup award.
Infantino became president in February in a bid to stabilise the Fifa administration and vowed to lead world football into a new era of "transparency" and "honesty".
But he already faces scrutiny. Fifa on Friday denied German media reports that a formal investigation had been launched into the new president.
Die Welt newspaper said Infantino had improperly ordered the destruction of the minutes of a Fifa executive committee meeting held at last month's congress in Mexico city.
Fifa spokeswoman Delia Fischer said the allegations were baseless.
"The email exchange that makes mention of the deletion of audio files refers to a copy of the original audio file of the meeting that was improperly stored on a local drive," she said.
"This mention does not refer to the officially archived audio file. That file exists and is properly saved at Fifa."
A spokesman for the ethics committee's investigatory arm, Roman Geiser, told AFP that "there are no formal proceedings going on against Mr. Infantino".
Fifa officials have not discounted however that there is a possibility of an official inquiry.
Die Welt had said Fifa's ethics commission could impose a 90 day suspension on Infantino over the issue.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swiss woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP file picture

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf, marking one of the first such rulings in Switzerland, media reported Sunday.

Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available