FIFA museum case against Blatter dropped

GENEVA (Reuters): Swiss authorities announced on Tuesday the end of legal proceedings against former FIFA president Sepp Blatter over the alleged mismanagement of its Zurich museum.

The Zurich public prosecutor’s department “has closed criminal proceedings against two former FIFA officials in connection to the FIFA museum,” it said in a statement.

“The investigation did not confirm the suspicion of breach of obligations by way of unfair management,” it added.

FIFA filed a criminal complaint in December 2020 against the former head of world football’s governing body for “criminal mismanagement” over the construction of the museum, a project spearheaded by Blatter.

It claimed the museum claimed generated a bill of 500 million Swiss francs ($564 million) that instead “could and should have been channeled into the development of global football.”

Under Blatter, FIFA said it spent $140 million on refurbishing and renovating an office building and signed an “unfavorable” long-term rental agreement above market rates that will cost the organization $360 million by its date of expiration in 2045.

However, according to the Zurich public prosecutor, “it was not possible to establish wrongful behavior.”

The museum was opened in 2016 by Gianni Infantino following his following election as Blatter’s successor.