FIFA President Blatter to face criminal charges
Switzerland's attorney general opened criminal proceedings against FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Friday, saying world soccer's most powerful man will be charged with "suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation."
Blatter, 79, who has run FIFA since 1998, denied any wrongdoing. He was questioned by Swiss authorities, and FIFA is cooperating with the investigation.
The case involves a contract Blatter signed in 2005 that assigned World Cup TV rights to the control of an indicted former FIFA official, Jack Warner. That contract, excerpts of which were posted on the website of Swiss broadcaster SRF two weeks ago, awarded Warner's Caribbean Football Union the rights to the 2010 and '14 World Cups for $600,000. Warner then licensed those rights and sold them for $20 million.
In 2011, when Warner left FIFA after being implicated in a bribery scheme, he said FIFA gave him cheap World Cup rights in exchange for helping Blatter win re-election as president.
Warner, who is from Trinidad and Tobago, was charged by U.S. authorities in May as part of a 47-count indictment brought against nine high-ranking soccer officials and five sports marketers. The 14 were charged with racketeering, wire fraud and corruption, among other offenses — many of the charges stemming from the sale of broadcast and sponsorship rights.
Swiss authorities also said Blatter is suspected of making a "disloyal payment" of $2.04 million in 2011 to Michel Platini, president of European governing body UEFA. Platini, a former Blatter ally turned rival, is a leading candidate to succeed Blatter as FIFA president in special elections scheduled for February. The payment was made for work done between 1999 and 2002.
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Cycling: Americans Chloe Dygert and Emma White ran 1-2 in the junior road race at the world championships in Richmond, Va.