Both the offices of FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini issued statements today to try to counteract the negative publicity about the two top figureheads in world soccer given the criminal probe against Blatter from Friday, as well as Platini being questioned.
Sepp Blatter has told FIFA’s staff that he will stay on as president while he cooperates with Swiss prosecutors who have opened criminal proceedings against him, his lawyer said Monday.
“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,” Blatter’s Virginia-based lawyer Richard Cullen said in a statement.
Meanwhile, UEFA president Michel Platini has insisted that a two million Swiss franc ($2m) payment to him from FIFA president Sepp Blatter was “fully declared by me to the authorities, in accordance with Swiss law”.
In a statement to UEFA member associations, seen by AFP, Platini added that he had spoken with Swiss authorities as part of the investigation and had requested to be heard by the FIFA ethics committee.
“I was interviewed by the Swiss authorities about this matter last Friday, not as a person accused of any wrongdoing, but simply in my capacity as a person providing information,” he added.
“Furthermore, I have today written to the Ethics Committee of FIFA to request that I may come forward and provide whatever additional information may be needed in order to clear this matter up.”