FIFA lawyers say Blatter, Valcke and Kattner took $80m in bonuses
FIFA lawyers say former top officials Sepp Blatter, Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner awarded themselves pay raises and World Cup bonuses totalling $80 million over their last five years in office.
FIFA says the contracted payments appear to break Swiss law, and evidence will be given to American and Swiss federal prosecutors who are investigating corruption implicating world football's governing body.
Attorneys for FIFA provide update on internal investigation and details on compensation for former top officials. https://t.co/96ce0VAP9h- FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 3, 2016
FIFA revealed details of the contracts of its former president Blatter, fired former secretary general Valcke and fired finance director Kattner one day after Swiss police raided FIFA to seize evidence.
"The evidence appears to reveal a coordinated effort by three former top officials of FIFA to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses and other incentives totalling more than 79 million Swiss francs -- in just the last five years," Bill Burck, a partner with Quinn Emanuel, said on FIFA's website.
Blatter got a $12 million bonus after the successful 2014 World Cup in Brazil and would have been due another $12 million for completing his 2015-19 presidential term. The secretly agreed bonuses were significantly more than Blatter's base salary -- $3 million in 2015 -- which was published by FIFA in March.
Valcke got a $2 million base salary in 2015 before being fired but got a $10 million World Cup bonus for 2014 and was due $11 million from the 2018 tournament in Russia.
Some contract provisions violate Swiss law -- clauses ensuring full payment over the full term even in the event of dismissal, plus the covering of legal costs -- while the length of the deals and the remuneration packages were deemed to be overinflated.
Blatter's lawyers say his payment arrangements at FIFA were above board. "We look forward to showing FIFA that Mr. Blatter's compensation payments were proper, fair and in line with the heads of major professional sports leagues around the world,'' said U.S. lawyer Richard Cullen in a statement.
The police raid included searches in the office of Kattner, who was fired last week.
Kattner's payments were all contracted and approved by the compensation committee thatFIFA created in 2013 and known to FIFA's auditors, KPMG, a spokesperson for the German official said in a statement.
"Documents and electronic data were seized and will now be examined to determine their relevance to the ongoing proceedings," the Swiss federal prosecution office said on Friday.
FIFA has shared the information disclosed on Friday with Swiss and United States law enforcement agencies, whose combined investigation into the circumstances surrounding the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has widened and unearthed a barrage of alleged corruption.
Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber opened criminal proceedings against Blatter last September and against Valcke in March.
Both are suspected of criminal mismanagement of FIFA money. Blatter and Valcke deny wrongdoing but were banned for six and 12 years, respectively, by FIFA's ethics committee.
No additional criminal proceedings have been opened against Kattner.
"Additionally, FIFA will refer the matter of these contracts and payments to the Ethics Committee for its review," FIFA said in a statement.
FIFA payments under suspicion pic.twitter.com/7r96G2ACmy- Rob Harris (@RobHarris) June 3, 2016
Any ethics investigation could affect two senior officials at the heart of FIFA's financial operation. Finance committee chairman Issa Hayatou, the interim FIFA president while Blatter was suspended, and former audit panel chairman Domenico Scala both approved at least one of the contracts revealed on Friday.
On Thursday, FIFA had said that formal proceedings were yet to be taken against current president Gianni Infantino despite reports in German newspaper Die Welt that he is facing a 90-day suspension.
A spokesman for the organisation had told Sky Sports News: "We are not in a position to indicate if we have or have not [begun] preliminary investigatory proceedings against an individual.
"We would however like to point out that there are no formal proceedings going on against Mr Infantino."
Infantino was elected FIFA president in February following Blatter's suspension from all football activity. He is cooperating fully with the investigation alongside FIFA legal director Marco Villiger, Quinn Emanuel's office said.