hands 1,300-page corruption report to Swiss authorities
Send a link to a friend
[April 01, 2017]
By Brian Homewood
ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA has completed a 22-month internal inquiry
into allegations of high-level corruption and criminal misconduct
that buffeted world football and handed its report to Swiss
authorities, soccer's ruling body said on Friday.
"FIFA will now return its focus to the game, for fans and players
throughout the world," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino, elected
last year to replace Sepp Blatter, who is under criminal
investigation in Switzerland.
In a statement, FIFA said that more than 2.5 million documents were
reviewed during the investigation and that the report it shared with
Swiss authorities ran to 1,300 pages and included more than 20,000
pages of "exhibits", or documentation.
The investigation began after several dozen soccer officials, mainly
from Latin America, were indicted in the United States in 2015 on
corruption-related charges, sparking the worst crisis in FIFA's
Some of the suspects have pleaded guilty and await sentencing,
others face trial and some are in their native countries where they
are fighting, or have avoided, extradition.
FIFA said its report would also be made available to U.S.
In Switzerland, the attorney general's office has begun criminal
proceedings against Blatter and former FIFA secretary general Jerome
Valcke on suspicion of offences including criminal mismanagement
“FIFA is committed to conducting a thorough and comprehensive
investigation of the facts so we could hold wrongdoers within
football accountable and cooperate with the authorities,” Infantino
said in the FIFA statement.
Swiss prosecutors "will continue to pursue those who enriched
themselves and abused their positions of trust in football", he
The statement from Zurich-based FIFA gave no further
details and said that, because of the criminal inquiries under way,
it was "legally restricted from releasing or commenting on the
findings from its internal investigation".
[to top of second column]
The snow-covered landscape is reflected in a logo in front of FIFA
headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd
The Swiss Attorney General's office confirmed in a statement that it
had received the report and said it "appreciates the preliminary
exchange of information and FIFA’s close and consistent
Blatter has been banned for six years and Valcke for 10 by FIFA's
own ethics committee. Both have denied wrongdoing and Valcke has
appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Blatter has
already lost an appeal at CAS.
In September, FIFA opened a new ethics investigation into Blatter,
Valcke and former finance director Markus Kattner
for possible violations including bribery and corruption.
FIFA said then that the allegations were in the context of salaries
and bonuses paid to the three.
($1 = 1.0004 Swiss francs)
(Writing by Brian Homewood,; editing by Mark Heinrich and Ed Osmond)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten