The Investigatory Chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee has opened formal proceedings against banned former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, ex-secretary general Jérôme Valcke and Markus Kattner for the trio’s involvement in an illicit bonus and pay rise scheme during their time in office, it was announced today.
Blatter, who is currently serving a six-year suspension from world football, Valcke, who was banned for 10 years, and former chief finance officer and acting secretary general Kattner are under investigation for a number of ethics breaches, including bribery and corruption and offering and accepting gifts or other benefits.
The three former officials are also being probed for potential violation of ethics regulations relating to conduct, loyalty and conflicts of interest.
Kattner, the German-Swiss who became FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s right-hand man following his election in February and had his contract terminated in May for “financial breaches”, is also under investigation for a potential breach of the confidentiality clause in FIFA’s Code of Ethics.
It comes after FIFA’s lawyers Quinn Emanuel announced back in June that Blatter, Valcke and Kattner, awarded themselves bonuses and pay rises totaling $80 million over a five-year period.
The law firm also claimed some of the contracted payments are in breach of Swiss law and “warrant considerable further investigation”, including handing over the evidence to Swiss and American prosecutors.
They include Blatter, Valcke and Kattner being given a combined $23.4 million in December 2010 following the World Cup in South Africa that year, which was approved “apparently without an underlying contract provision stipulating such bonuses”.
The information also shows Valcke and Kattner were awarded a combined $14.7 million following the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
Kattner was handed an additional four-year contract extension on May 30 last year, just three days after six FIFA officials were arrested in dawn raids in Zurich, which guaranteed more than eight years of future salary and bonus payments totaling up to $9.2 million in the event of his dismissal.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz