The ethics committee of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international governing body of professional soccer, has opened formal proceedings against Sepp Blatter, the disgraced former head of FIFA, for engaging in bribery and corruption.
In December 2015, FIFA’s ethics committee had slapped an eight-year suspension on Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini concerning a $2 million payment Platini received in 2011 from FIFA and authorized by Blatter. The continuing aftermath of the scandal took another turn, when FIFA fired Secretary General Jerome Valcke amid corruption allegations involving World Cup ticket sales.
The latest developments announced by FIFA this week also brought formal proceedings against Valcke and Markus Kattner, former acting secretary general and director of finance and corporate services.
FIFA’s ethics committee said it will investigate possible violations of:
Article 13 (General rules of conduct):
Article 15 (Loyalty);
Article 19 (Conflicts of interest);
Article 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits); and
Article 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE) in the context of salaries and bonuses paid to Blatter, Valcke, and Kattner, as well as other provisions included in the contracts of these three individuals.
FIFA’s ethics committee also said it will investigate a possible violation of Article 16 (Confidentiality) of the FCE by Kattner.
“Under the FIFA Code of Ethics, the investigatory chamber shall examine all circumstances of the cases equally,” FIFA said. “For reasons linked to privacy rights and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the investigatory chamber will not publish further details at the present time.”