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Swiss authorities in raid on Sepp Blatter's Fifa office

By Tom Peck

Published 11/06/2015

Missing the spotlight: Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Missing the spotlight: Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Swiss investigators have seized documents and computer equipment from Fifa president Sepp Blatter's offices.

The Swiss authorities, which are looking into corruption in the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, seized the items in Fifa's Zurich headquarters.

Information was handed over from the office of Blatter, secretary general Jérôme Valcke and head of finance Markus Kattner.

It marked the first proceedings since it was announced that "money laundering and criminal mismanagement" had been discovered in the double vote held in 2010 that awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Fifa said it had co-operated fully with the authorities.

A spokesman for the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in Switzerland said: "I can confirm that FIFA handed over today seized IT data to the OAG.

"As already communicated, the OAG has opened criminal proceedings against persons unknown."

Earlier, Fifa announced it had postponed its bidding process for the 2026 World Cup, which had been due to start next week, and indicated a successor to Blatter is likely to be elected on December 16. On a visit to Samara, Russia, the embattled Valcke said it would be "complete nonsense" to begin the bidding process now.

Valcke continued to protest his innocence over a $10m payment from Fifa to the former head of Concacaf Jack Warner.

"You've decided that, after Blatter, I'm the head to be cut, that's fine," he said. "But don't pretend it has anything to do with the $10m.

"Why is this the fault of Fifa when the money is not Fifa's money? Fifa has no responsibility on this money, it is South Africa's money, and it was a gift to the African diaspora in the Caribbean," he said. The payment was approved by Valcke and paid from Fifa's accounts to one controlled by Warner.

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