Evidence of ex- FIFA Chief Sep Blatter’s personal property cache is one of the hardest to uncover.
New York apartments for pussy cats, waterfront Miami boltholes and diamond-studded luxury cars – enter the murky, flashy world of soccer’s kingpins.
Hand-in-hand with professional sport and fat salaries is sex, power and, often, prestige real estate.
In the case of the FIFA corruption scandal, a bulging portfolio of huge mansions, from Florida to Costa Rica, are allegedly linked to finance connected to the FBI’s probe.
But when it comes to Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president who has quit amid the bribery bombshell, his personal portfolio seems curiously empty.
World football’s ex-chief is only rumoured own a 30-bedroom mansion in his home country of Switzerland and to be chauffeured in a diamond encrusted Bentley.
But of all the world’s high-profile sports administrators, evidence of Blatter’s personal property cache is one of the hardest to uncover.
Swiss media reports that he bunkers down in a one-bedroom apartment in Zurich, just three minutes from the FIFA head offices.
Of all the executives entangled in the FBI probe, it’s former American FIFA bigwig turned FBI informant Chuck Blazer who lived the largest.
Blatter is rumoured to be driven around in a diamond encrusted Bentley. Photo: Nick Dimbleby
He allegedly enjoyed island getaways, celebrity company and private jets.
But it’s how he lavished luxury on his pets that points to the depth of his wealth and which, a US newspaper alleged following an investigation, he long enjoyed with impunity.
Blazer’s cats got the cream, living in a $6000-a-month apartment, with views of Central Park, in Donald Trump’s flash Trump Tower in New York.
FIFA bigwig turned informant, Chuck Blazer reportedly rented out an apartment in Trump Tower, New York City just for his cats. Photo: Sasha Woolle
Blazer is understood to have rented the neighbouring $18,000-a-month apartment, while his felines had the run of their own pad on the 49th floor.
The vice-president of FIFA Jeffrey Webb, US prosecutors allege, used illicit funds to buy a palatial plantation-style manor with six bedrooms in Georgia.
It is one of several properties owned by Mr Webb mentioned in the indictment, which claims a wire transfer made to him – used to finance a new pool at the Georgia home – was from an American sports marketing firm which was chasing a lucrative commercial rights deal with FIFA.
Late last week The Telegraph covered the extensive property empire which the allegedly corrupt FIFA officials had amassed over time.
US officials claim more than a dozen homes were purchased or obtained illegally, with some registered to offshore companies.
Authorities suspect the properties, including a plush Miami condo, are connected to money mixed up in the FIFA bribery enquiry.
US authorities have charged 18 officials following a four-year investigation into bribes linked to World Cup votes, tournaments sponsorship contracts and television rights.