Archive picture: Sepp Blatter (left) and Michel Platini 2015 / Picture: AFP
Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and former UEFA CEO Michel Platini have been charged with fraudulent payments of one million euros. The Swiss federal prosecutor's office accuses the two ex-top officials of having illegally obtained a payment of two million Swiss francs from the football world association to the Frenchman Platini.
The prosecutors also accuse Blatter (85) of embezzlement, unfaithful business management and falsification of documents. Platini (65) has to answer for the help.
The investigations of the Federal Prosecutor's Office revealed that Platini worked as a consultant for Blatter, the then President of the International Football Association (FIFA), between 1998 and 2002. For this, the two agreed in writing in 1999 to pay an annual fee of CHF 300,000. Platini invoiced the compensation and FIFA paid it in full – with the assistance of Blatters.
Over eight years after the end of the consultancy mandate, Platini demanded two million francs. This amount was paid out at the beginning of 2011 with the assistance of Blatter.
According to the federal prosecutor's office, their investigations corroborated the suspicion that this payment was made without a legal basis. They damaged FIFA in its fortune and unlawfully enriched Platini. The federal prosecutors see the alleged facts fulfilled.
Blatter reacted calmly that everything was “correctly declared” at the time and “approved by the competent FIFA authorities”. “I look forward to the trial before the Federal Criminal Court with optimism,” he said through his spokesman, Thomas Renggli. “I hope that this story will come to an end and that all the facts will be properly dealt with.”
The FIFA Ethics Committee banned Blatter and Platini six years ago, and for both of them the penalties, some of which were later reduced, meant the end of their careers. However, Blatter had previously announced his retirement from the top of FIFA. Both have always denied the allegations.