President of World football governing body, FIFA, Sepp Blatter has insist on remaining in office until new president is elected for the body come February next year.
feeling no guilt for being alleged of mismanagement, Blatter said he has done nothing illegal or improper, after Swiss authorities launched criminal proceedings against him.
The head of world football’s governing body said in a statement released through his lawyers that the payment to UEFA President Michel Platini that sparked the probe was “valid compensation and nothing more”.
The statement added that Mr Blatter told staff in a meeting he will remain as president until February, when a successor will be elected.
The statement said: “President Blatter spoke to FIFA staff today and informed the staff that he was cooperating with the authorities, reiterated that he had done nothing illegal or improper and stated that he would remain as president of FIFA.
“On the (UEFA President Michel) Platini matter, President Blatter on Friday shared with the Swiss authorities the fact that Mr Platini had a valuable employment relationship with FIFA serving as an adviser to the president beginning in 1998.
“He explained to the prosecutors that the payments were valid compensation and nothing more and were properly accounted for within FIFA including the withholding of Social Security contributions.
“Because of the continuing investigation President Blatter will answer no further questions at this time.”
Mr Blatter is suspected of “criminal mismanagement or misappropriation” and his office has been searched and unspecified data seized.
The allegations relate to suspicion over a “disloyal payment” of 2m Swiss francs (£1.3m) to Mr Platini, who is not accused of any wrongdoing and has been questioned as a witness.
The payment by Mr Blatter from FIFA funds was “allegedly made for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002”.
Mr Platini, who hopes to succeed Mr Blatter as president, said the payment “relates to work which I carried out under a contract” and he “was pleased to have been able to clarify all matters” to the authorities.
On Monday, Mr Platini released a letter he has sent to the 54 UEFA associations about the investigation stating that the probe may harm his image and reputation, but insisted the payment was fully declared to the authorities in accordance with Swiss law.
Mr Platini added he has offered to give FIFA’s ethics committee any additional information needed.
TV rights deals sold to the now-disgraced former FIFA vice president Jack Warner are also part of the investigation into Mr Blatter, something the statement from his lawyers did not address.
Mr Blatter is also being investigated by prosecutors in the US and the FBI as part of a sweeping probe into allegations of corruption.
However, Swiss Officials, last week opened proceedings against the FIFA who is suspected of criminal mismanagement or misappropriation relating to a TV rights deal he signed with Caribbean football chief Jack Warner in 2005.
Blatter is also suspected of making a ‘disloyal payment’ in 2011 to UEFA boss, Michel Platini – the favourite to succeed him as FIFA President – of two million Swiss francs for work allegedly carried out between 1999 and 2002.
Blatter was interrogated by Officers from the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) at FIFA headquarters after a FIFA Executive Committee meeting on Friday, while Platini has also been questioned as a witness.