Monday September 14th, 2015

FIFA's former anti-corruption advisor Mark Pieth said outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter should be subject to a criminal investigation for selling under-priced World Cup television rights to Jack Warner, reports the Associated Press.

On Friday, Swiss broadcaster SRF published a document signed by Blatter in 2005 showing the sale of the 2010 and 2014 World Cup rights to Caribbean Football Union, which Warner controlled. The sale totaled to $600,000. Warner then transferred the rights to his private company and sold them for about $20 million.

In 2011, following his departure from FIFA after he was implicated in bribery, Warner claimed that FIFA agreed to give him cheap World Cup rights in exchange for helping Blatter continue to win elections.

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Pieth, who is currently a criminal law professor at Basel University, says that Blatters could be targeted for “criminal mismanagement” at FIFA. Pieth stated that the Swiss federal government must open an investigation because it has “prima facie evidence,” meaning evidence that is true upon first impression and is accepted as correct until proven otherwise.

“Blatter has to defend himself against a form of embezzlement charges,” Pieth said. “That's a topic that they need to discuss.”

Pieth said the investigation the Swiss are conducting is even broader in scope than the one the United States is undertaking. The two governments are sharing evidence, and held a joint press conference about the progress of the investigations on Monday.

“The investigation here in Zurich is much bigger,” Pieth said. “It is really about the whole institution (of FIFA) and what they have been doing over the last whatever 20 years. There is some very, very tricky stuff hidden that might even go towards the former boss, Sepp Blatter.”

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- Xandria James

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