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FIFA SCANDAL

CORRUPTION

Blatter to appear at Lausanne appeal court

Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter will appear in person at the Court of Arbitration for Sport for his August 25th appeal against his ban from football, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

Blatter to appear at Lausanne appeal court
Sepp Blatter is currently banned for six years. File photo: Valeriano di Domenico/AFP

“Mr. Blatter will go in person with his lawyer Lorenz Erni,” Blatter spokesman Thomas Renggli told AFP.
   
Fifa's ethics committee initially suspended Blatter along with his one-time heir apparent Michel Platini in December for eight years over ethics violations.
   
Those bans were cut to six years in February.
   
Following Platini's appeal, the Lausanne-based CAS reduced Platini's suspension to four years.
   
Both men were thrown out of football over a two million franc ($2 million, 1.8 million euros) payment that Blatter authorized to Platini in 2011.
   
Fifa's ethics judges deemed the payment “disloyal” to world football's governing body.
   
Blatter and Platini are the top names in a long list of football power players who have been brought down in a scandal that erupted in May of last year.
   
Blatter has claimed innocence, insisting he cannot be held responsible for the corruption committed by others.
   
In June, Fifa released details of an internal audit which found that Blatter and two top deputies — Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner — enriched themselves with more than $80 million dollars in irregular bonuses and other benefits.
   
Blatter, who is the target of a criminal probe in Switzerland, was replaced as Fifa president by Gianni Infantino in February.

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FOOTBALL

Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland

Three former German football officials and ex-FIFA Secretary General Urs Linsi went on trial on Monday in Switzerland over suspicions that Germany bought votes to obtain the 2006 World Cup.

Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The three defendants have indicated that they will not be present at the hearing in Bellinzona for a variety of reasons, including fear of travelling because of coronavirus contagion.

Swiss Linsi, 70, former German Football Association (DFB) presidents Wolfgang Niersbach, 69, and Theo Zwanziger, 74, and 78-year-old former DFB General Secretary Horst R. Schmidt are being prosecuted for “fraud”.

They are accused by the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office (BA) of concealing from the DFB the true destination of a transfer of 6.7 million euros ($7.6 million today), paid in 2005 by the organising committee to former Adidas boss, the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, via FIFA.

The case of former World Cup organising committee chairman Franz Beckenbauer is being heard separately because of the former Germany captain's poor health.

The investigation was prompted by a report in German publication Der Spiegel in 2015 that Germany had used a secret fund of 10 million Swiss francs (6.7 million euros at the time) to buy votes and obtain the rights to host the competition at the expense of South Africa.

Beckenbauer is suspected of having asked Louis-Dreyfus, to contribute to this fund shortly before the vote on the host in the summer of 2000.

Louis-Dreyfus was allegedly reimbursed by the German Football Association on the pretext of expenses related to a FIFA gala evening, which ever took place.

Zwanziger, Niersbach and Schmidt have also been charged with tax fraud in Germany and the case is expected to come to trial in the coming months. cpb/pb/td

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