Sunday, December 5, 2021

Blatter, Platini indicted for fraud in Switzerland

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Nov 2021

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Former FIFA officials Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have been charged with fraud and other offences by Swiss authorities relating to a payment made in 2011.

Switzerland’s attorney general’s office (OAG) published an indictment on Tuesday following an investigation that began in 2015.

Both men “are accused of unlawfully arranging a payment of CHF2million from FIFA to Michel Platini”, the OAG said.

Former FIFA president Blatter and ex-UEFA president Platini are now set to face a hearing before Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court (FCC).

The case centres on a payment made by FIFA to Platini in 2011, authorised by Blatter, which the OAG alleges “was made without a legal basis”.

The indictment alleges that Platini demanded this CHF2million payment more than eight years after his work as a consultant for Blatter between 1999 and 2002 had come to an end, and that it “damaged FIFA’s assets and unlawfully enriched Platini”.

According to the indictment, Platini had allegedly been paid by FIFA an annual fee of CHF300,000 for his consultancy work. This amount had been agreed upon in a written contract, the indictment said.

Blatter was originally banned from footballing activities for eight years, reduced to six, by FIFA in 2015 following an Ethics Committee investigation that described the payment as “disloyal”. Platini was also given an eight-year suspension.

Each man denied wrongdoing, with Blatter insisting there was a “gentleman’s agreement” over the payment.

Blatter has been charged with fraud, misappropriation, criminal mismanagement and forgery of a document. Platini has been charged with fraud, participating in misappropriation, participating in criminal mismanagement and forgery of a document.

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