FIFA lodges criminal complaint against Sepp Blatter over loss-making museum

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 22, 2020, 06:14 PM(IST)

Blatter said Infantino promised to get back to him, but never did. Photograph:( Reuters )

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FIFA on Tuesday announced that it has filed a criminal complaint against former president Sepp Blatter over the finances of its loss-making museum in Zurich. FIFA, in a statement, said that a criminal complaint has been lodged against Blatter with Zurich’s cantonal prosecutor as evidence of suspected criminal mismanagement by FIFA’s former management and companies appointed by them. 

FIFA on Tuesday announced that it has filed a criminal complaint against former president Sepp Blatter over the finances of its loss-making museum in Zurich. FIFA, in a statement, said that a criminal complaint has been lodged against Blatter with Zurich’s cantonal prosecutor as evidence of suspected criminal mismanagement by FIFA’s former management and companies appointed by them. 

In a statement, FIFA said it had "lodged a criminal complaint with Zurich's cantonal prosecutor as evidence of suspected criminal mismanagement by FIFA's former management and companies appointed by them in relation to the (museum) has surfaced." 

Blatter's lawyer, Lorenz Erni, told AFP "the accusations are unfounded" and denied wrongdoing.

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As per FIFA, the museum generated a bill of 500 million Swiss francs (462 million euros) that instead "could and should have been channeled into the development of global football".

"We came to the conclusion that we had no choice other than to report the case to state prosecutors, not least because the current management of FIFA also has fiduciary responsibilities to the organisation and we intend to live up to them, even if those before us dismally failed to," said FIFA deputy secretary general Alasdair Bell.

The Zurich-based museum, which is a marquee Blatter project, was inaugurated in February 2016 by current FIFA president Gianni Infantino after he was elected as Blatter’s successor.

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Blatter was suspended from football for six years over a two million Swiss franc payment to then UEFA boss Michel Platini.

FIFA went on to invest 140 million Swiss frans ($138.6 million) in the museum, which is spread over three floors. However, it lost $50 million in its inaugural year of operating and attracted an average of 11,000 visitors a month – half the target of what Blatter had anticipated.

(With AFP inputs)

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