Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini charged with fraud over £1.6m payment

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Blatter was ousted as FIFA boss back in 2015 after an investigation was launched into an allegedly unlawful payment, whilst Platini’s hopes of succeeding him were dashed soon after

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FIFA ban Sepp Blatter: FIFA president and Michel Platini slapped with eight-year bans

Former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter and ex-UEFA president Michel Platini have been charged with fraud following a six-year investigation.

Blatter, who was the man tasked with running FIFA between from 1998 to 2015 and his ex-UEFA counterpart Platini have been the subject of an investigation following a payment of two million Swiss francs (£1.6m) from FIFA to Platini.

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The two could now face a trial within a matter of months with a statement from federal prosecutors reading: “This payment damaged FIFA’s assets and unlawfully enriched Platini.”

It is claimed that in January 2011, Platini wrote to the game’s governing body asking for a backdated salary for working as a presidential adviser to Blatter between 1998 and 2002.








Sepp Blatter and Michael Platini have both been charged by Swiss authorities
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Image:

AFP)



Both men have long denied any wrongdoing, suggesting that a verbal agreement for the payment had been in place for more than 20 years.

However, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) of Switzerland claim the transferring of funds was unlawfully arranged.

OAG said in a statement: “The OAG accuses Joseph Blatter of fraud, in the alternative of misappropriation, in the further alternative of criminal mismanagement as well as of forgery of a document.





“Michel Platini is accused of fraud, in the alternative of participating in misappropriation, for in the further alternative of participating in criminal mismanagement, as an accomplice, as well as of forgery of a document.”

The case saw Blatter ousted as FIFA chief back in 2015, before ending Platini’s hopes of succeeding his mentor in the subsequent election.

They have both been banned from any football activity, with Platini, 65, previously suggesting he was ready to fight the charges in Swiss courts.

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Prosecutors opened criminal proceedings against Blatter in 2015, while Platini was placed under formal investigation five years later.

In a statement, Blatter explained: “I view the proceedings at the federal criminal court with optimism – and hope that, with this, this story will come to an end and all the facts will be worked through cleanly.

“Regarding the payment of the sum of two million francs from FIFA to Michel Platini, I can only repeat myself: It was based on an oral contract that regulated Platini’s advisory activities for FIFA between 1998 and 2002.”


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