FIFA opens proceedings against Blatter over salary and bonus payments

The FIFA ethics committee has opened new proceedings against banned former president Joseph Blatter relating to bribery and corruption, the world football governing body said Friday.

In a separate decision, Jeffrey Webb, former president of the North, Central American and Caribbean Association CONCACAF, was banned from football for life over a range of corruption charges.

Blatter, along with former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and former financial officer Markus Kattner, were in June revealed to have enriched themselves by more than 79 million Swiss francs (80 million dollars) in the last five years according to a FIFA internal investigation.

At the time FIFA said they had implemented "a coordinated effort ... to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses and other incentives."

They are now being investigated for possible violations relating to general rules of conduct, conflict of interest, offering and accepting gifts and benefits, and bribery and corruption "in the context of salaries and bonuses ... as well as other provisions" in their contracts, FIFA said.

The Quinn Emanuel law firm which conducted the internal investigation reported "contract arrangements benefited a small group of former FIFA officials," and some contained "provisions that appear to violate Swiss law."

Blatter and Valcke both face criminal proceedings by Swiss prosecutors but have denied wrong-doing.

Blatter was banned for eight years last year by the ethics committee over a 2 million Swiss francs payment to former European football chief Michel Platini, which was made nine years after consultancy work was carried out.

The FIFA appeals committee later reduced the suspension to six years.

Valcke was banned for 12 years for misconduct related to the sale of World Cup tickets and other cases of alleged misconduct, and was fired from his position in January

Kattner was also dismissed as FIFA's deputy secretary in May for "breaches of his fiduciary responsibilities in connection with his employment."

Later Friday FIFA said the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert had banned Webb for life and fined him 1 million Swiss francs for multiple violations of the ethics code.

Webb, who is also a former FIFA vice president and chief of the Cayman Islands Football Association, last year pleaded guilty at a US district court in New York to one count of racketeering conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud conspiracy and three counts of money laundering conspiracy.

FIFA is currently pursuing Webb and others in the US for "tens of millions of dollars" in restitution related to the corruption charges faced by several former football executives.

The claim covers losses for salaries, funds diverted to the defendants’ pockets and damage to its reputation, intellectual property, and business relationships.

In depth coverage

Corruption allegations against FIFA and football

Chronology of events around corruption in football and at the ruling football body FIFA since a first round of arrests ahead of the 2015 FIFA congress.

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Last update: Fri, 09/09/2016 - 14:29
Last update: Fri, 09/09/2016 - 16:02

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