Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 10th 2016 Contents A58
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, March 10, 2016
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GENEVA---Evidence has been seized
in a search at the French soccer fed-
eration headquarters for a criminal
case against former FIFA president
Sepp Blatter, Swiss federal prosecu-
tors said yesterday.
The office of Switzerland s attorney
general said the governing body for
French soccer consented to the search
carried out Tuesday, at offices near
the Eiffel Tower in central Paris, with
the cooperation of the French Financial
The raid is the first reported action
outside Switzerland in a criminal pro-
ceeding opened against Blatter last
September for suspected financial
mismanagement and misappropriation
of FIFA money.
Blatter turns 80 today.
It focuses on a $2 million payment
Blatter approved from FIFA funds for
Michel Platini in 2011. The previously
secret transaction wrecked the former
France great s bid to become FIFA
president when it was revealed by
Swiss prosecutors six months ago.
"Documents were seized in con-
nection with the suspected payment,"
the Swiss federal prosecution office
said in a statement Wednesday. A for-
mal request for help from French
authorities had been made on Jan. 14.
Though no criminal case is yet open
against Platini, the suspended pres-
ident of European soccer body UEFA,
Switzerland s attorney general Michael
Lauber has previously said he is
"between a witness and an accused
"Michel Platini s status in the pro-
ceedings has remained unchanged,"
Lauber s office said Wednesday.
Platini s lawyers said in a statement
yesterday that the Swiss intervention
was a positive step.
"We welcome this new stage
because the sooner Swiss justice com-
pletes the investigation, the sooner
Michel Platini will get out of the news
headlines in which he does not
belong," the statement said.
Platini was based in Paris rather
than at FIFA s home in Zurich when
he worked as Blatter s presidential
adviser from 1999-2002. Then, the
French federation s offices were on
Avenue d Iena, near the Arc de Tri-
The federation, now working from
a building fronted by glass panels on
Boulevard de Grenelle, issued no state-
ment early yesterday about the raid.
French media reported that the doc-
uments seized related to a contract
between the federation and Platini for
rented office space in 1999-2002.
Lauber previously seized documents
in December from European soccer
body UEFA, based in Nyon, Switzer-
land, where Platini has been president
since 2007. That elected job gave him
FIFA vice president status.
Platini and Blatter were suspended
from office in October by FIFA s ethics
committee and are now serving six-
year bans. They have constantly
denied wrongdoing and are appealing
against their sanctions at the Court
of Arbitration for Sport.
and outside" the Zimbabwe foot-
ball federation targeted games in
Africa s two biggest competitions
and in the top league in South
Africa, with the former head coach
of the Zimbabwe national team
one of the "chief suspects," doc-
uments seen by The Associated
Edzai Kasinauyo, a Zimbabwe
Football Association executive com-
mittee member, was suspended
Tuesday on suspicion of planning
to fix Zimbabwe s two upcoming
qualifiers against Swaziland in the
African Cup of Nations.
Internal federation documents
seen by the AP yesterday say players,
coaches and other ZIFA officials are
suspected of also being involved
and more competitions may have
The ZIFA documents say Zim-
babwe s games at last month s
African Nations Championship ---
the continent s No 2 tournament
---are under suspicion and evidence
implicates former national team
coach Ian Gorowa, the team s cur-
rent assistant coach, Nation Dube,
and the former chief executive of
ZIFA, Henrietta Rushwaya.
Rushwaya had a life ban from a
previous match-fixing scandal
involving Zimbabwe s national team
overturned in January. The fact that
serious allegations of fixing at the
Zimbabwe federation should emerge
again so quickly is another blow to
soccer s image. Current Zimbabwe
coach Callisto Pasuwa and 20-year-
old national team goalkeeper Taten-
da Mukuruva were the whistle-
blowers, according to the
documents, after they reported
being approached by the fixers and
asked to throw games. Mukuruva
said in an affidavit that former coach
Gorowa and assistant coach Dube
asked him to undergo a "keeper s
course on fixing matches."
Players were offered $5,000 each
for every game fixed, ZIFA believes.
FIFA and the Confederation of
African Football, the body that over-
sees the African Cup of Nations
and African Nations Championship
tournaments, had been informed
of the latest investigation, ZIFA said.
"The facts reported are very seri-
ous," CAF secretary general Hicham
El Amrani said in a statement on
Wednesday. "We will immediately,
in consultation with FIFA, investi-
gate and activate the mechanisms
ZIFA said it had "credible evi-
dence" in the form of emails and
audio recordings that "directly"
implicated executive committee
member Kasinauyo in trying to fix
Zimbabwe s home and away African
Cup of Nations qualifiers against
Swaziland at the end of this month.
Zimbabwe scandal widens;
players, coaches implicated
French HQ raided in Swiss
case against Blatter
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