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FIFA seeks $2M from former president, VP for 'illicit' payment

By
Clyde Hughes
Then-FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter speaks to reporters in Tokyo, Japan, on December 14, 2007. The global soccer authority is now seeking more than $2 million over a payment made to Blatter's vice president in 2011. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Then-FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter speaks to reporters in Tokyo, Japan, on December 14, 2007. The global soccer authority is now seeking more than $2 million over a payment made to Blatter's vice president in 2011. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 16 (UPI) -- International soccer governing body FIFA said Monday it will seek more than $2 million in reimbursement from its former president and vice president for an illegal payment nearly a decade ago.

FIFA said in its announcement it has filed court documents in Switzerland asking for compensation dating back nearly eight years from former President Joseph Blatter and Vice President Michel Platini, for $2.04 million paid to Platini in 2011.

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The organization said it approached the courts after a unanimous resolution was passed by its Governance Committee.

"If and when successfully recovered, these funds [together with interest] will be fully channeled back into football development, which is where the money should have gone in the first place," FIFA said in a statement.

"This follows the unanimous resolution recently adopted by the FIFA Governance Committee in which it emphasized that FIFA was duty-bound to try to recover the funds illicitly paid by one former official to another," the organization said. "Even the Swiss Federal Supreme Court has confirmed that this $2 million gift was to be viewed as an 'undue payment.'"

The global soccer authority was hit by corruption charges in 2015 with the arrests of several members. It then suspended Blatter, who is also under investigation by Swiss prosecutors in another case.

"Blatter, in his position as president of FIFA, authorized the payment to Platini which had no legal basis," FIFA said in 2015. Blatter and Platini were banned from soccer for eight years due to ethics violations stemming from the payment.

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