Sepp Blatter probe, a 'humiliating' end to his Fifa career

Blatter is accused of signing a contract with the Caribbean Football Union that was unfavourable for Fifa.

FILE. Fifa President Sepp Blatter announces the 2010 World Cup will be organised by South Africa on 15 May 2004 at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Swiss Attorney General's criminal investigation into football association Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been described as a humiliating end to his career.

Yesterday, Blatter's attorney said he is fully cooperating with Swiss authorities in their criminal probe into alleged mismanagement and misappropriation.

He is accused of having signed a contract with the Caribbean Football Union in 2005 that was unfavourable for Fifa.

Blatter was interrogated at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich yesterday, and data and documents were seized during a search of the premises.

Bloomberg News sports journalist Tariq Panja says Blatter has spent the majority of his life shaping Fifa into the association it is today.

"He owes his life to Fifa and he is very protective of it. For him this is deeply humiliating. A few years ago people were talking about Blatter trying, staying on in order to win Nobel Peace Prize. You're looking at a man who is hoping he's not going to be jailed."

Fifa's Chief Ethics Investigator Cornel Borbely says Blatter may not be able to bounce back from this scandal.

"I think he would have to be suspended in the very least. If he's referred to the Fifa ethics committee, he will have to step down as president and will have to be suspended. Because he's due to stand down in February when the elections take place, I think this really is the end for Blatter."

This is the first time the world football chief has faced a criminal investigation, despite rumours of corruption in the past.

The football body has declined to comment further on the matter.