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French soccer body's office searched in Blatter investigation

Reuters , Wednesday 9 Mar 2016
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Authorities searched the offices of France's soccer federation and seized documents in support of a Swiss investigation into former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Switzerland's Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said on Wednesday.

The operation, carried out on Tuesday, was linked to a 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million) payment at the heart proceedings against the former head of world football's scandal-plagued governing body, the OAG added.

Swiss prosecutors said in September they had opened a criminal investigation into Blatter on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. He dismissed the allegations.

Blatter has also been banned from soccer for six years over the payment to Michel Platini in 2011 by FIFA with Blatter's approval for work done a decade earlier. Both have denied any wrongdoing.

More than 40 individuals and entities, including many former FIFA officials, have also been charged with corruption-related offences in the United States, in the worst corruption crisis in FIFA's history.

"Documents were seized in connection with the suspected payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2 million) that is inter alia the subject of the proceedings," the OAG said in a statement.

The search was carried out in response to a Swiss request in January for mutual legal assistance, the OAG said.

There was no immediate comment from the French association.

Swiss Blatter's 18-year tenure as FIFA president officially ended last month with the election of Gianni Infantino.

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