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FIFA admits Blatter, Valcke, Kattner wrote out $80 million bonuses

June 03, 20:26 UTC+3 GENEVA
The company’s lawyer in charge of FIFA cases said there was evidence of coordinated actions on the part of three former top FIFA officials for the purpose of enrichment
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GENEVA, June 3. /TASS/. Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter, Secretary-General Jerome Valcke, and Deputy Secretary General Markus Kattner, who also served as the Chief Financial Officer have written out bonuses in the amount of $ 80 million for themselves over the previous five years, FIFA press service said on Friday.

The company’s lawyer in charge of FIFA cases, William Burck, said there was evidence of coordinated actions on the part of three former top FIFA officials for the purpose of enrichment.

They did so with the aid of annual rises of salaries, bonuses for world championships and other compensations to the tune of CHF 79 million over a period of five years.

FIFA lawyers will submit the data to the attorneys in Switzerland and the U.S.. as well as to the FIFA committee for ethics.

Shortly before the election of FIFA’s President in 2011, in which Blatter was running versus Mohammed bin Hammam, Valcke and Kattner "were given 8.5-year contract extensions until 2019 with big increases in their base salaries and bonuses," the press service said.

"Mr. Valcke and Mr. Kattner were also given generous severance terms that guaranteed them full payment - up to CHF 17.5 million and CHF 9.8 million respectively - in case their employment with FIFA is terminated, which was likely should Mr. Blatter not be reelected," the report said.

In addition to it, their contracts contained the provisions saying they would receive all the severance compensations in case of retirement on legal grounds and FIFA would indemnify them against all the legal costs and penalties even if they were found guilty. These provisions run counter to the Swiss law.

On December 1, 2010, Blatter, Valcke and Kattner received "CHF 23 million in special bonuses for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa."

"These bonuses were awarded retroactively - four months after the completion of the World Cup - and apparently without an underlying contract provision stipulating such bonuses," FIFA said

As for other remunerations related to World Cup championships, "in 2013 and 2014, the Compensation Sub-Committee approved substantial payments to Mr. Valcke and Mr. Kattner respectively in Oct 2011 for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and on top of this the Compensation Sub-Committee approved in June 2014 a combined CHF 15.5 million package of World Cup bonuses to Mr. Kattner and Mr. Valcke for Russia 2018."

FIFA corruption scandal

The three officials quitted their posts after the corruption schedule at FIFA. At the end of May 2015, just two days before election of FIFA President the Swiss police detained seven high-rank officials of the association on charges of corruption.

The second wave of arrests fell on December when the police put to custody two former Vice-Presidents and several executives and representatives of FIFA’s commercial sponsors and partners.

All in all, charges with corruption have been issued to 42 people.

Blatter was reelected FIFA President at a congress of the association on May 29, 2015 but four days after reelection he announced his resignation against the background of corruption scandals. He was replaced by Gianni Infantino who was endorsed for the position at a session of the FIFA Congress on February 26, 2016.

Valcke was disqualified from activities in football for ten years. The FIFA committee on ethics found him guilty of encroaching on seven provisions of the association’s code of ethics.

Kattner was relieved of duties on May 23. FIFA press service said an internal inquiry had exposed the violations of fiduciary obligations related to the official duties on his part.

On Thursday, a search was held in the FIFA headquarters as part of the case for corruption. Along with the search, a database and documents were confiscated. British media linked the action to the Blatter and Valcke cases.

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