FIFA presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon plans to sue current president Sepp Blatter for embezzlement, reports The Guardian.
During his 17 years as a FIFA vice president under Blatter, Chung said Blatter made decisions about FIFA funds without consulting his executive committee. Chung was advised he could sue Blatter for more than $100 million in “damages and compensation proportionate to the damage he inflicted on FIFA” for those actions.
“Like the dungeon in the FIFA HQ, FIFA has become a very secretive place,” Chung said at the Leaders Sport Business Summit in London, according to The Guardian. “In an age when we can find out the salary of a company president or a PM any time, we still don’t know president Blatter’s salary. For Blatter to get paid without authorization of the executive committee is embezzlement. I plan to sue Mr. Blatter on his embezzlement in court.”
Chung, who is consulting with a Swiss lawyer for the lawsuit, said he determined the monetary value for the damages from a $100 million settlement FIFA paid in 2006 to Mastercard, which sued FIFA over a sponsorship deal with Visa.
Chung, a South Korean, faces a potential 19-year ban from FIFA for ethics violations regarding his country’s bid for the 2022 World Cup. On Tuesday, he accused the FIFA ethics committee of acting as Blatter’s ”hit man” and Blatter of trying to sabotage his presidential campaign.
“Mr. Blatter, in short, is a hypocrite and a liar. Whenever I speak to football leaders, most of them agree that Mr Blatter is corrupt,” Chung said. “FIFA is in total meltdown and his dynasty is coming to an end, yet still few dare to speak up against him.”
Blatter’s presidency is set to end after the special presidential election on Feb. 26. Despite calls from FIFA sponsors such as Coca-Cola that he resign immediately and an ongoing criminal investigation into his leadership of the organization by Switzerland, Blatter has said he will not step down until after the election.
- Erin Flynn