Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Blatter ‘very surprised’ by search of French federation offices

09 March 2016, 21:46

Lausanne - Sepp Blatter told AFP Wednesday he was "very surprised" that French authorities had seized documents from the country's football federation in connection with a Swiss criminal investigation in which he is the target.

"I am very surprised by this," Blatter, FIFA's former president, said after the Swiss attorney general announced that French authorities had searched the French Football Federation (FFF) headquarters.

The raid seized documents linked to Blatter's infamous 2.0-million Swiss franc ($2.0 million, 1.8 million euros) payment to UEFA's fallen president Michel Platini.

Blatter said the search was surprising since the payment in question "was not made to FFF nor UEFA, but put into the private account of Michel Platini in a Swiss bank."

"That is in fact how this (the payment) came to light, since this Swiss bank informed Swiss financial regulators at the time, because when a private person receives two million francs, there are alarm bells that ring," he said.

Tuesday's search in Paris was carried out "in connection with the criminal proceedings against Mr. Joseph Blatter," the Swiss attorney general's office said, adding that documents in connection with Blatter's payment to Platini "were seized".

Also read: Blatter vows to clear name in CAS appeal

Platini worked for FIFA from 1999 to 2002 while he was based in Paris, and had the assistance of two colleagues who were also paid by world football's governing body.

"These contracts were between FIFA and the FFF, and between the two employees (who worked with Platini), Odile Lanceau and Alain Leiblang, who FIFA paid as of 1999.

"But they have nothing to do with Michel Platini's contract," Blatter said.

The announcement that FFF's offices had been searched came just a day ahead of Blatter's 80th birthday, but the former FIFA chief said he believed the timing was "a coincidence".

"I don't think that the Swiss prosecutors office considered that it was the day before my birthday," he said, adding that the announcement would not spoil his celebrations.

"I don't see how this could ruin this lovely day (Thursday). We will have a family celebration of these 80 candles," he said.

"They wanted to make me a cake and have me blow out 80 candles, but I said: 'Life is light, and it is not at the age of 80 that I will blow out the light on a cake. I won't blow out my life," Blatter told AFP in a telephone interview.

Blatter, who worked for FIFA for four decades and spent 18 years at its helm before he was forced out in disgrace amid a mammoth scandal still rocking world football, is set to celebrate his birthday at a Zurich hotel Thursday with around 100 guests.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...