Blatter among ex-officials to enrich themselves: FIFA

Fri Jun 3, 2016 2:17pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

ZURICH (Reuters) - Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and two other leading officials were involved in a "coordinated attempt" to enrich themselves through annual salary increases and World Cup bonuses, world soccer's governing body said on Friday.

FIFA said an internal investigation revealed that the three officials had received 79 million Swiss francs ($80 million) in compensation over five years, calling them "massive payouts".

FIFA is attempting to recover from the worst graft scandal in its history in which 42 people, including former FIFA executive committee members, and entities have been indicted in the United States. Gianni Infantino was elected as president in February and promised to lead the FIFA into calmer waters.

The ruling body said it had shared the information about salaries with the Swiss Attorney General's office and the U.S. Department of Justice and would continue to investigate.

Blatter, 80, did not wish to comment on the allegations, his spokesman said.

His U.S. lawyer, Richard Cullen, said in a statement: "We look forward to showing FIFA that Mr. Blatter's compensation payments were proper, fair and in line with the heads of major professional sports leagues around the world."

A person close to Kattner said that "none of the information that was published is unknown to the compensation committee".

Payments were in line with FIFA's compensation policy and that they had been seen by KPMG which audit FIFA's finances, he said.   Continued...

FIFA was thrown into crisis by U.S. investigations into alleged widespread financial wrongdoing stretching back more than two decades. Sepp Blatter, who had led soccer's world governing body since 1998, was banned from soccer activities for ethics violations in December. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann