First, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said he was possibly going to remain President. Next, Blatter and FIFA abruptly cancelled today’s press conference for an unknown reason. Now, we know why and it is huge. FIFA President Sepp Blatter was interrogated by Swiss authorities and have seized data from his FIFA office in Zurich. According to Sam Borden of the New York Times, Blatter is going to be charged.
Information is coming in left and right as we speak but according to a news release from the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, Blatter was “interrogated” as the “defendant” by Swiss authorities over criminal mismanagement and misappropriation from two notable incidents during his term as FIFA President.
The first incident was that Blatter signed an “unfavorable” contract with former CONCACAF President Jack Warner on September 12, 2005. This deal in which Warner made £11 million in profit from 2006 and 2010 World Cup TV rights is the deal in question. The second incident was that Blatter made a “disloyal payment” to UEFA President and FIFA Presidential candidate Michel Platini in February 2011. Platini has been “asked to provide information.” Apparently Platini spoke with Swiss authorities today but it’s unknown as to what was said. Given Platini’s current relationship with Blatter, the fact that he’s running for FIFA President and that there could potentially be criminally incriminating evidence on Platini, I wouldn’t be shocked if he cooperates.
FIFA and FIFA’s Ethics Committee released a statement saying that they are cooperating with Swiss authorities on the matter. Based on FIFA rules, CAF President Issa Hayatou will be temporary FIFA President should something happen to Blatter in between now and the special election in February. And before anyone asks, Hayatou has been implicated in corruption for years, much in the same way as Jack Warner by accepting bribes for voting for Qatar and other shady payments over the years.
Well, there will definitely be more to this story just like there has been more to the FIFA scandal since May but now the authorities are closing in on Blatter and now things are really picking up.
Oh and almost as if this was swept under the rug given everything going on, FIFA revealed that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place over 28 days and not 31 and go from November 21 to December 18 in Qatar.