Blatter says Swiss have dropped one of his corruption cases

Former Fifa President Sepp Blatter was ousted due to a corruption scandal. (AFP pic)

LAUSANNE: Sepp Blatter said on Tuesday that one Swiss investigation into his handling of a television contract has been dropped, but Fifa said that does not mean its former president is in the clear.

“I was officially informed today that the federal public prosecutor’s office has decided … to close the investigation,” Blatter, who is 84, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This news is already a good thing and above all it comes exactly five years to the day after my decision to vacate my mandate as president of Fifa,” added Blatter, who quit on June 2, 2015, just four days after winning a fifth term as Fifa president.

The Swiss attorney general has thus shelved one of the two parts of the proceedings opened against Blatter in 2015 on “suspicion of unfair management and breach of trust”.

It made clear that the other investigation, into a payment of €1.88 million to Michel Platini, the former Uefa president and Fifa executive committee member, was ongoing.

Fifa have 10 days to appeal.

A spokesman for the governing body of world football told AFP that they had not yet received formal notification but “will consider all legal options to ensure that the relevant people are held to account.”

Blatter’s payment to Platini led to both men being banned from football, although the Frenchman was cleared by the Swiss courts in 2018.

At the end of April, a police report obtained by AFP said that the suspicions of “unfair management” against Blatter “were well-founded” even though the decision to close one of the two investigations was already known.

The investigation that has been dropped centres on a contract Blatter approved awarding TV rights for two World Cups at a price allegedly below market value to the Caribbean Football Union, then headed by Jack Warner.

Trinidadian Warner, a former Fifa executive committee member, has since been banned from football for life and is wanted in the United States.

Blatter acted “more in Warner’s interests than in the interests of Fifa,” wrote Swiss investigators.