Zurich - Suspended FIFA president Sepp
Blatter went to the world body's headquarters on Thursday to answer corruption
allegations amid a report that Switzerland has frozen more than $50 million in
accounts suspected to be linked to football bribes.
Blatter, who, along with vice president
Michel Platini, faces a long suspension, arrived at FIFA's base in Zurich in a
black Mercedes and made no comment as he entered.
Before the hearing, Blatter, 79, wrote a
letter to FIFA's 209 members calling the FIFA ethics commission's investigators
Blatter is under criminal investigation in
Switzerland over a two million Swiss francs ($2 million/1.8 million euros)
payment made to Platini in 2011 for work carried out about a decade earlier.
Platini's case will be heard on Friday, but
he has said he will boycott the tribunal. His lawyers will go however.
FIFA has been plunged into several
corruption scandals this year, which played a key role in Blatter's
announcement in June that he would stand down when a new election is held in
Platini was considered favourite to take
over but his campaign has been frozen since he and Blatter were suspended in
October over the payment which they insist was legal.
The United States asked Switzerland to
freeze about 50 accounts in Swiss banks linked to its massive inquiry into
football corruption, the Tages Anzeiger newspaper reported.
Federal justice spokesperson Folco Galli told
the newspaper that "funds in the high tens of millions (Swiss francs) are
blocked." He added that the figure was between 50 million and 100 million
The newspaper said the action involved
about 50 accounts in 10 Swiss banks. Numerous FIFA members are known to have
accounts in the country.
Nicolas Leoz, a longtime head of the South
American confederation, CONMEBOL, had 12 accounts in Switzerland, the newspaper
said quoting details from the US request.
The United States has charged 39
individuals, including Leoz, and two companies over bribes of more than $200 million
paid for football marketing and television rights deals.