Blatter Vows To Keep Office Till 2016 | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Blatter Vows To Keep Office Till 2016

Posted: Sep 28, 2015 at 7:17 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said he will remain in office, because he has “done nothing illegal or improper” after criminal proceedings were opened against him last Friday by the Swiss attorney-general.

Blatter, who is due to step down in February 2016, addressed FIFA staff on Monday, three days after being interrogated by Swiss investigators at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

He alongside FIFA directors at a staff meeting, which was characterised as a regular gathering that takes place at least once a month rather than being the stage for a sudden announcement.

His U.S.-based lawyer, Richard Cullen, released a statement shortly after the meeting that said the two million Swiss francs (about $2 million) payment Blatter made to UEFA president Michel Platini for work done more than nine years previously was legitimate..

“President Blatter spoke to FIFA staff today and informed the staff that he was cooperating with the authorities, reiterated that he had done nothing illegal or improper and stated that he would remain as president of FIFA,” the statement said.

“On the Platini matter, President Blatter on Friday shared with the Swiss authorities the fact that Mr. Platini had a valuable employment relationship with FIFA serving as an adviser to the president beginning in 1998. He explained to the prosecutors that the payments were valid compensation and nothing more and were properly accounted for within FIFA including the withholding of Social Security contributions.

“Because of the continuing investigation President Blatter will answer no further questions at this time.”

Blatter, 79, was back in his office that was raided on Friday, attempting to continue running FIFA while embroiled in a criminal investigation.

Blatter has said he will hand over power in February when an emergency election is held, triggered by the president’s resignation statement four days after being re-elected for a fifth, four-year term in May.

There was silence on Monday from UEFA president Platini, who was the favorite to succeed Blatter before he too became embroiled in the scandal last week.