Wednesday March 9th, 2016

Swiss authorities have seized evidence relating to the criminal investigation into former FIFA president Sepp Blatter during a raid of the French Football Federation, the Associated Press reports.

Blatter is being investigated for criminal mismanagement of FIFA funds, centering around a controversial payment he made to former UEFA president Michal Platini in 2011. Both men have asserted that the $2 million payment was part of Platini’s salary for working as Blatter’s adviser, but neither has produced documentation of the exchange, asserting they had a “gentleman’s agreement” so no documentation existed. 

“Documents were seized in connection with the suspected payment,” the Swiss federal prosecution office said in a statement, according to ESPN FC.

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Blatter and Platini both issued statements on Wednesday welcoming the investigation and continuing to deny wrongdoing.

“I’m very surprised at this for the very simple reason that the two million Swiss francs that FIFA paid to Michel Platini as part of an oral contract that existed between Michel Platini and I were neither transferred to the FFF or to UEFA but to a private account of Michel Platini’s in a Swiss bank,” Blatter said in his statment.

Blatter and Platini were banned from FIFA for eight years in December, but their suspensions were reduced to six years after an appeal last month.

- Erin Flynn

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