French FA Raided in Swiss Probe of Sepp Blatter

(ATR) Evidence is seized in connection with the Swiss criminal investigation against the former FIFA president.

(ATR) Evidence has been seized in a raid on the French Football Federation offices in Paris in connection with the Swiss criminal investigation against former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

The Swiss Attorney General said in a statement on Wednesday that the federation had allowed it to search its Paris HQ on Tuesday.

"Documents were seized in connection with the suspected payment of CHF 2 million," the attorney general’s office said.

Blatter signed off the $2 million from FIFA funds to compensate Michel Platini in 2011 for consultancy work done around a decade earlier, and has defended it as a "gentleman's agreement".

Swiss authorities opened criminal proceedings against Blatter on Sept. 24 on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. He denies any wrongdoing.

No criminal case has been opened against Platini, although the Frenchman is deemed by the Swiss authorities to be "between a witness and an accused person".

FIFA’s ethics committee banned Blatter and Platini for six years last month following a probe into the "disloyal" payment the disgraced former FIFA chief made to the ex-UEFA boss for advisory work carried out between 1998 and 2002. They are taking their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The office of the attorney general said it had called for "mutual legal assistance" of the French judicial authorities on Jan. 14 in order to conduct the search of the French FA's offices.

"As for all defendants, the presumption of innocence applies for Mr. Joseph Blatter," the attorney general’s office said.

Blatter’s 18-year scandal-tarnished reign as head of world football’s governing body ended on Feb. 26 when Gianni Infantino, Platini’s former right-hand man, was elected as FIFA president.

Written byMark Bisson

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