FIFA finally has decided to look inward in an effort to learn whether president Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have broken house rules.
FIFA’s Ethics Committee has launched an investigation into specific activities of Blatter and Executive Committee member Michel Platini, Sky Sports and The BBC reported Saturday. The investigation centers around a 2011 payment worth two million Swiss francs (£1.35 million/$2 million) Platini accepted in 2011 for advisory work he conducted on Blatter’s behalf more than nine years prior.
The report of FIFA’s internal probe comes one day after the office of Switzerland’s attorney general opened criminal proceedings against Blatter. Swiss authorities are investigating whether the Blatter-authorized payment to Platini and the sale of World Cup media rights to disgraced former FIFA vice president Jack Warner were “disloyal” or done against the best interest of the organization. Swiss authorities interrogated Blatter on Friday and seized computers and other data from his office at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich.
Swiss authorities also interviewed Platini on Friday as a witness in the Blatter investigation. Platini publicly denies any wrongdoing.
FIFA’s ethics committee has the power to suspend Blatter, who previously announced his plans to remain in power until FIFA elects his successor on Feb. 26, 2016. Platini, the presumed front-runner in the race to become FIFA’s next president also could face suspension.
The latest twists in the ongoing FIFA scandal has thrown world soccer’s governing body into fresh turmoil. Where this story turns next or ends is anyone’s guess at this point.
Thumbnail photo via Patrick B. Kraemer/Keystone/The Associated Press
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