Blatter and Platini
By Valentine Amanze
FIFA former president, Sepp Blatter; and UEFA ex-president, Michel Platini, have been dragged to court by Swiss prosecutor over alleged fraud and other offences after a six-year investigation into a controversial $2 million (£1.4 million) payment.
The 85-year-old Blatter and the 65-year-old Platini were sued on Tuesday November 2, 2021 at the federal criminal court in Bellinzona, Switzerland..
“This payment damaged FIFA’s assets and unlawfully enriched Platini,” Swiss federal prosecutors said in a statement.
The case from September 2015 ousted Blatter ahead of schedule as FIFA president and ended then-UEFA president Platini’s campaign to succeed his former mentor.
The case centres on Platini’s written request to FIFA in January 2011 to be paid backdated additional salary for working as a presidential adviser in Blatter’s first term, from 1998 to 2002.
Recall that Blatter authorised FIFA to make the payment within weeks. He was preparing to campaign for re-election in a contest against Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar, where Platini’s influence with European voters was a key factor.
Both Blatter and Platini have long denied wrongdoing and cited a verbal agreement they had made for the money to be paid.
Blatter has been charged with fraud, mismanagement, misappropriation of FIFA funds and forgery of a document.
Platini has been charged with fraud, misappropriation, forgery and as an accomplice to Blatter’s alleged mismanagement.
Platini, a French football legend, was not placed under formal investigation until last year, and months later the more serious allegation of fraud was included against both men.
Prosecutors had opened criminal proceedings against Blatter in September 2015 ahead of a police raid at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on the day he and Platini attended a meeting of the football body’s executive committee.