Blatter to face legal action

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Sepp Blatter, the president of football's world governing body, Fifa, faces legal action in the Swiss courts from his own executive committee members this week, who will accuse him of "misuse of funds".

The 11 members of Fifa's executive committee have hired a lawyer and have asked prosecutors to investigate Blatter. Lennart Johansson, the president of European football's governing body, Uefa, who is also a Fifa vice-president and opponent of Blatter, announced the move yesterday.

Johansson said: "Under Swiss law you are obliged to go to court if you are aware of a criminal act. If you withhold that information you can be charged yourself.

"Following the report of Fifa general secretary, Michel Zen-Ruffinen, to the executive committee on Friday, we are now obliged to act through the courts."

Johansson, who was speaking in Rotterdam before the Uefa Cup final last night, said that lawyers would present their case to magistrates in Zurich "within the next two days or so".

Zen-Ruffinen presented a 21-page dossier to Fifa's executive committee last week in which he alleged that Fifa's funds had been misused, though Blatter has denied any wrong-doing.

Another Fifa vice-president, Chung Mong-joon, who is head of South Korea's World Cup committee, joined the move by six of the eight European members and four African members of the executive committee to go to court.

Chung said: "Mr Blatter must face a thorough investigation over the abuse of his authority and misuse of Fifa funds. The alleged 'Blattergate' is scandalous. It's severely damaged Fifa's reputation and credibility in the world."

"He has acted without the mandate of the executive committee, doling out personal favours at Fifa's expense. Such abuse of his authority and misuse of Fifa funds may require criminal investigation."