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Sports

FIFA Investigates Top Officials

Three top FIFA officials gave themselves $80 million in salaries and raises in violation of Swiss law

FIFA President Sepp Blatter attends a news conference in Marrakech, Morocco, photo: AP/Christophe Ena
2 years ago

ZURICH — FIFA’s top officials Sepp Blatter, Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner awarded themselves pay rises and World Cup bonuses totaling $80 million over their last five years in office.

The contracted payments appear to break Swiss law, and evidence will be given to American and Swiss federal prosecutors who are investigating corruption implicating the world soccer body, lawyers for FIFA said Friday.

“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 totaling more than 79 million Swiss francs — in just the last five years,” said Bill Burck of Quinn Emanuel, the U.S. law firm retained by FIFA during its corruption crisis.

FIFA revealed details of the contracts of its former president Blatter, fired former secretary general Valcke and fired finance director Kattner one day after police raided FIFA to seize evidence for the Swiss investigation.

The raid included searches in the office of Kattner who was fired last week.

Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber opened criminal proceedings against Blatter last September, and against Valcke in March.

Both are suspected of criminal mismanagement of FIFA money. Blatter and Valcke deny wrongdoing but were banned for six and 12 years, respectively, by FIFA’sethics committee.

No additional criminal proceedings have been opened against Kattner.

“Additionally, FIFA will refer the matter of these contracts and payments to the Ethics Committee for its review,” FIFA said in a statement.

Three weeks after new FIFA President Gianni Infantino claimed that “the crisis is over,” the turmoil rocking soccer’s world governing body continues.

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