Blat­ter did not speak to US pros­e­cu­tors

New Straits Times - - Sport -

ZURICH: For­mer Fifa pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter has not spo­ken to United States pros­e­cu­tors in Switzer­land, his US-based lawyer said on Tues­day.

Blat­ter told in­ter­na­tional news agency re­porters la st month that he had met lawyers from the U S D epart­ment of Jus­tice in Zurich last Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber.

Yet his lawyer Richard Cullen said that Blat­ter may have mis­taken Amer­i­can lawyers who were con­duct­ing an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion on be­half of Fifa for of­fi­cials from the De­part­ment of Jus­tice.

“Pros­e­cu­tors from the De­part­ment of Jus­tice did not in­ter­view Mr Blat­ter in Switzer­land,” Cullen said by tele­phone.

“He may have mis­taken an in­ter­view that he gave to Amer­i­can lawyers who were con­duct­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion on be­half of Fifa.

“Those lawyers were in fact not pros­e­cu­tors from the De­part­ment of Jus­tice.”

At the time when he made his com­ments to agency re­porters last month, Blat­ter had also said: “I have had very lit­tle con­tact from my Amer­i­can lawyers be­cause I was never a per­son of in­ter­est un­der scru­tiny by the Amer­i­can jus­tice.

“I have been in­ves­ti­gated in two or three mat­ters ... but there is no wrong­do­ing.”

The 81-year-old was banned for six years by Fifa’s own ethics com­mit­tee at the height of a scan­dal en­gulf­ing world foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body in 2015.

The scan­dal saw sev­eral dozen foot­ball of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing some from Fifa, in­dicted in the United States on cor­rup­tion-re­lated charges. Blat­ter was not among them.

In March, Fifa com­pleted their own 22-month in­ter­nal in­quiry, con­ducted by US lawyers Quinn Emanuel, into al­le­ga­tions of high­level cor­rup­tion and handed their re­port to Swiss au­thor­i­ties.

Sepp Blat­ter

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