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French Soccer Headquarters Raided in FIFA Investigation

  • VOA News

FILE - In this May 6, 2011 file photo, a man enters the French soccer federation headquarters in Paris. Swiss authorities say evidence has been seized in a search made Tuesday March 8, 2016 at the French soccer federation headquarters for their criminal c

FILE - In this May 6, 2011 file photo, a man enters the French soccer federation headquarters in Paris. Swiss authorities say evidence has been seized in a search made Tuesday March 8, 2016 at the French soccer federation headquarters for their criminal c

French authorities raided the French Football Federation's Paris headquarters Tuesday to gather documents for an investigation against the former head of FIFA, Sepp Blatter.

Swiss investigators cooperating with France on a probe into a suspect payment between Blatter and European football head Michel Platini announced the raid Wednesday.

The investigation focuses on a $2 million payment Blatter approved for Platini in 2011. Both men were removed from office and banned from soccer for six years for the payment. They have denied wrongdoing.

Blatter told the French news agency he was "very surprised" by the search. Platini's lawyers said "the sooner Swiss justice authorities finish their investigation, the sooner Michel Platini will be out of the tabloids where he does not belong."

The 79-year old Blatter faces charges in a Swiss court, while Platini is considered somewhere between a witness and a defendant.

FIFA has attempted to clean up its image after current and former officials were charged with corruption in the largest scandal in the organization's history.

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