Michel Zen-Ruffinen
Intl. since:
Country: Switzerland

Not much of an international career as a referee (1993-1995) but famous for being a contender to Blatter's throne.


Zen-Ruffinen was FIFA general-secretary in 2002 when he started a power struggle with the president whom he called a dictator and accused of mismanaging FIFA's finances. His accusations (misleading accounting practices and conflicting interests) led to a criminal complaint against Blatter by 11 FIFA members.

When Blatter was re-elected the 11 dropped their charges and Zen-Ruffinen was taken outside and shot.

In 2007 Zen-Ruffinen was appointed chairman of the Association of Football Agents (AFA).


Among the accusations in the 23 pages of Zen-Ruffinen's document are:

Blatter distributed millions of dollars to officials for his reelection

no-one was allowed to see the accounting books of the marketing division

the tv contracts went to a friendly company (ISL, now defunct) instead of companies willing to pay a lot more.

the Swiss

The swiss authorities didn't pursue the matter, and all those accusations and even proof never made it to court. It is alleged that Blatter told the Swiss he would take his FIFA and move to another more friendly country if they would do anything about it.


We were to believe Zen-Riffinen was one of the good guys until he was exposed offering his services to undercover journalists posing as lobbyists. Zen-Ruffinen said he could give them the names of three FIFA executive committee members who could be bought to vote for World Cup candidates. Two with money and one with women. The journalists were from the Sunday Times (Rupert Murdoch owned, so...) and Zen-Ruffinen actually did nothing illegal since he has nothing to do with FIFA anymore. Maybe this all has been a set up. When this news came out (October 2010) Blatter had no contender to the throne yet.

Did you know

  • When he was a referee Michel Zen-Ruffinen and his assistants were taken to El Corte Ingles, a famous Spanish department store, by the Atletico Madrid club officials. They were told to buy anything they liked and put it on the Atletico tab. The three Swiss went to the restaurant and had a coffee.

    from Declan Hill: "The Fix"
Totals Home Away Total
Penalties 0 0 0
Fouls 0 0 0
Yellow 3 4 7
YellowRed 0 0 0
Red 0 1 1
Averages Home Away Total
Penalties 0 0 0
Fouls 0 0 0
Yellow 0.75 1 0.88
YellowRed 0 0 0
Red 0 0.25 0.13

Based on 4 international matches

Date Score Yellow Red Penalties Fouls
UEFA Cup 1994 - 1995
2nd roundCannesAdmira Wacker1994-11-022 - 4 5 (1-4)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
HungaryGermany1994-10-120 - 0 2 (2-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
NorwayUSA1993-09-081 - 0 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 1993 - 1994
1st roundGloria 1922 BistritaMaribor1993-09-150 - 0 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)