Joseph Blatter and Platini cleared of fraud

Joseph Blatter, the man who ran world football’s governing body for 17 years before being fired over a scandal, has been cleared of criminal charges by Switzerland’s highest criminal court.

A court ruled that former FIFA president and most prominent successor, Michel Platini, was found not guilty of fraud, embezzlement and counterfeiting of the 2 million Swiss francs ($2.1 million) paid to Platini years after he quit. work as an advisor to the organization of the World Cup. †

Both men said the amount satisfies an oral contract between them in exchange for Platini’s services, but that it was delayed in part due to the federation’s dangerous financial situation, and after the two men were the most powerful men in football ever. They were banned from playing sports in December 2015, ruining Platini’s chances of becoming FIFA president.

“The truth came out during this trial and I deeply thank the judges of the court for the independence of their decision,” Platini said in a statement following the verdict.

Read more: In Switzerland, a dramatic trial by Platini and Blatter on suspicions of corruption in FIFA

Blatter, 86, argued before the trial that the money was a “paid wage” owed to Platini, stated it specifically as such and “was billed accordingly and approved by all responsible authorities in FIFA”, and did not say his spokesperson. immediately responds to a letter to respond to the ruling.

Platini received compensation of 142,893 francs and returned about 2.23 million francs in a seized account, and Blatter received compensation of 82,198 francs and an additional compensation of 20,000 francs.

failed argument

Swiss prosecutors have tried but failed to present a convincing case that the late payment of the legendary French international, who was UEFA president at the time, had been paid “without legal basis”.

Despite winning the lawsuit on Friday, Blatter is still subject to a separate ban until 2028 over “extraordinary bonuses” worth CHF 23 million earned during the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

During the trial in the eastern city of Bellinzona, Platini criticized the way FIFA treated him, referring to this in his statement after the trial. He said: “In this case, there are those guilty who have not appeared before this trial, so believe me, we will meet again … because I will not give up and I will do my best in my search for the truth.”