FIFA loses court bid to revive probe of Blatter over media rights deal

FIFA's logo is seen in front of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland August 5, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - A Swiss court has rejected world soccer body FIFA's bid to revive a criminal probe against its former president, Sepp Blatter, over a 2005 deal with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) to sell World Cup broadcasting rights.

The Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) last year dropped the investigation, one of two it was conducting against the 85-year-old Blatter, who was banned from the sport for years for ethics violations.

FIFA sought to reverse the OAG's decision, but the Federal Criminal Court rejected its request in a verdict released on Thursday, which said the OAG had acted properly.

Blatter, who led FIFA for 17 years until 2015, was accused of selling TV rights to the CFU for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups for $600,000, seen as far below the market value at the time.

In a second criminal case, Blatter is accused of having improperly arranged a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.2 million) to then-UEFA president, Michel Platini, in 2011.

Blatter and Platini have repeatedly maintained they did nothing wrong, amid what became part of the biggest corruption scandal to shake world soccer's ruling body, one that resulted in numerous prosecutions and convictions in the United States.

($1 = 0.9086 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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