Blatter, Valcke and Kattner accused of bonus scam by FIFA lawyers

The law firm representing FIFA has accused Sepp Blatter, Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner of benefiting from improper bonuses.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and fellow disgraced officials Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner benefited improperly from bonuses totaling a combined 79 million Swiss francs ($80 million) over the past five years, according to lawyers conducting an internal investigation at world football's governing body.

Law firm Quinn Emanuel have released figures relating to a series of bonuses, incentives and salary increases enjoyed by Blatter, former secretary general Valcke and Kattner, the former deputy secretary general who also served as FIFA's chief financial officer.

Quinn Emanuel believe two clauses in contract extensions granted to Valcke and Kattner in April 2011, shortly before Blatter's successful campaign for re-election against Mohammed Bin Hamman, are contrary to mandatory Swiss law.

"The evidence appears to reveal a coordinated effort by three former top officials of FIFA to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses and other incentives totaling more than CHF 79 million – in just the last five years," said Bill Burck, a partner with Quinn Emanuel.

A statement from FIFA read: "It is clear that the preliminary findings indicate that the payments and contracts warrant considerable further investigation. FIFA has shared this information with the Office of the Swiss Attorney General [OAG] and it will brief the U.S. Department of Justice on the matters as well.

"This is consistent with FIFA’s commitment to cooperate with the authorities and FIFA’s policy of zero tolerance for wrongdoing. FIFA will also refer the matter of these contracts and payments to the FIFA Ethics Committee for its review."

The OAG confirmed it conducted a search of FIFA's Zurich headquarters on Thursday in relation to its ongoing investigation into corruption at world football's governing body.

Blatter and Valcke are presently serving respective six and 12-year bans from all football-related activity, handed down by FIFA's independent ethics committee. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

Kattner was dismissed last month as a result of an internal FIFA investigation that "uncovered breaches of fiduciary responsibilities".