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Sepp Blatter grilled by Swiss police over corruption claims

By AP Reporter

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been questioned by Swiss federal police over alleged financial corruption.

The attorney general's office in Switzerland said it has opened criminal proceedings against 79-year-old Mr Blatter over possible criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of Fifa money. The Swiss federal office said Mr Blatter was interrogated after chairing a meeting of Fifa's executive committee yesterday.

Fifa vice-president Michel Platini, who is favourite to succeed the outgoing Mr Blatter as Fifa president next February, was questioned as a witness over a suspected "disloyal payment" of two million Swiss francs he allegedly received from Mr Blatter in February 2011. Under Swiss law, a payment is classified as disloyal if it is against the best interests of the employer - in this case Fifa.

Mr Blatter is the first person to be formally quizzed as a suspect in the Swiss case, which Fifa instigated last November over possible money laundering in the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests won by Russia and Qatar.

The allegations also relate to World Cup broadcasting contracts Mr Blatter agreed with ex-Fifa vice-president Jack Warner in 2005. "There is a suspicion that, in the implementation of this agreement, Joseph Blatter also violated his fiduciary duties and acted against the interest of Fifa," the Swiss federal office said.

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