The investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has confirmed that proceedings are ongoing against FIFA President Joseph Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini, both of whom are currently provisionally suspended. The investigation is focusing on a payment of CHF 2 million from FIFA to Michel Platini in February 2011.
The investigatory chamber will do everything in its power to ensure that a decision can be taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, within the 90-day suspension period (which began on 8 October 2015) of the two football officials.
The investigatory chamber also confirms the ongoing proceedings against suspended FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke related to the suspicion of misuse of expenses and other infringements of FIFA’s rules and regulations.
Formal investigation proceedings relating to the suspicion of infringements of the FIFA Code of Ethics are amongst others ongoing against Worawi Makudi, Jeffrey Webb, Ricardo Teixeira, Amos Adamu, Eugenio Figueredo and Nicolás Leoz. Proceedings relating to the two officials Ángel María Villar Llona and Franz Beckenbauer have already been passed on to the adjudicatory chamber. For procedural reasons, no further names of other parties affected by the proceedings are currently being disclosed.
Under the FIFA Code of Ethics, pursuant to the presumption of innocence, the investigatory chamber shall examine all circumstances of the cases equally. In this sense, all parties are presumed innocent until a decision has been passed by the adjudicatory chamber.
The chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, Dr Cornel Borbély, welcomes the approval by FIFA’s Executive Committee of the new wording of article 36 of the FIFA Code of Ethics. In future, it will be possible for the Ethics Committee to confirm on request the opening of proceedings against representatives of world football.
The investigatory chamber will always weigh the interests of transparency against the need to conduct proper adjudicatory proceedings, the personality rights of the parties involved and the presumption of innocence. For procedural reasons, the investigatory chamber can therefore only comment on ongoing formal proceedings regarding members of the Executive Committee, the Secretary General, the candidates for the FIFA Presidency and confederation representatives in leading positions.
If the investigatory chamber has information about a possible violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics, it will first analyse the relevant facts in a confidential preliminary investigation phase. In no circumstance will these preliminary inquiries be made public, due to procedural reasons. The chamber is currently carrying out a moderate number of preliminary investigations against a number of football officials. If one of these preliminary investigations gives rise to a concrete suspicion of wrongdoing, the chamber will open formal proceedings against the accused. Only then will the investigatory chamber consider whether to publicly confirm the relevant investigation.