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Added September 13th, 2016 by Ian

Sepp Blatter and cronies facing new charges

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of Switzerland and two of his cronies are facing new charges from the FIFA ethics committee. The organization said it has already opened formal proceedings against Jerome Valcke, the former secretary general of FIFA, as well Blatter and Markus Kattner, the former finance director. The proceedings were triggered after it was discovered that the three men allegedly took payments of several million dollars in their contracts after other senior officials approved them.

Blatter is already serving a six-year ban from the sport for allegedly making illegal payments to former UEFA president Michel Platini of France, who was also banned for several years. FIFA alleges that Blatter, Valcke and the recently-fired Kattner conspired to pay themselves huge sums of money from the profits of World Cup tournaments. According to FIFA lawyers, the three men coordinated together in an effort to enrich themselves. Prosecutors claim the current investigation is focused on corruption, conflict of interest, bribery and accepting gifts. Kattner is also being investigated for breach of confidentiality.

Prosecutors are looking into bonuses and salaries paid to the trio along with other types of illegal and unethical contract provisions. It was reported that Blatter was paid $12 million following the latest World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and was contracted to receive another $12 million after his presidential term for 2015 to 2019 came to an end. Reports said Valcke was paid $10 million as a bonus after the 2014 World Cup and was contracted to receive $11 million more after the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Prosecutors said Kattner had his contract altered in May of last year shortly after Swiss and American authorities raided a Swiss hotel during their investigations.

Kattner’s altered contracted was extended until 2023 and added clauses which would guarantee him termination pay and covered certain legal fees. FIFA stated that the added clauses violate national law in Switzerland. Valcke and the 80-year-old Blatter are already facing criminal charges in Switzerland regarding corruption in FIFA. Blatter appealed his six-year suspension from FIFA for conflict of interest concerning the incident with former FIFA vice president Platini and is waiting for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to make a ruling on it. Valcke is currently serving a 10-year ban for destroying evidence and financial wrongdoings after it was reduced from 12 years following an appeal. Valcke is also eligible to appeal the 10-year ban with the CAS.

 
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