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Home » Sport » Football

Swiss authorities investigate Fifa

Fifa is under investigation from the Swiss federal authorities over the cash-for-World-Cup-votes scandal, with the inquiry possibly leading to criminal charges.

Six senior Fifa officials, including an executive-committee member and vice-president, were earlier this month suspended from all football activities for a total of 16 years after they were found guilty of corruption offences under the Fifa code of ethics.

Now, director of Switzerland's Federal Office for Sport, Matthias Remund, wants to ensure that no Swiss laws have been broken, reports The Guardian.

Remund said the case would be analysed to determine "to what extent we have applicable law in Switzerland, in order to be able to pursue offences which are relevant from a criminal justice point of view or which offend competition law".

The case is complicated since under Swiss law, not-for-profit bodies cannot be pursued through anti-corruption laws, which apply only to commercial organisations.

Remund explained: "Private corruption in thatsense does not exist in Switzerland. And in particular sporting associations and clubs without economic/commercial purpose are excluded from that purpose."

Whether or not the Swiss authorities pursue a criminal case, Fifa's exemption from anti-corruption legislation appears short-lived, adds the newspaper.

Switzerland's sports minister, Uli Maurer, believes that in light of the most recent corruption case at Fifa House, it is time to tighten that loophole and end its immunity from prosecution.

He added: "It's clear that Switzerland is obliged to do something to fight corruption as we have lots of international federations with headquarters in Switzerland and we want to set an example in solving this problem."

In parallel with the investigation of the specific Fifa case, Maurer has tasked Remund's office with conducting a review of the anti-corruption laws to analyse whether these should also apply to sports organisations.

 

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