The Swiss judiciary acquitted the former heads of the International and European Federations, Swiss Joseph Blatter and Frenchman Michel Platini, in a case of fraud and forgery that ruined their administrative careers.
The criminal court in Plinzona in mid-June rejected the prosecution’s requests to incarcerate Blatter, 86, and Platini, 67, with a suspended sentence of one year and eight months for defrauding FIFA, with Platini receiving unjustified damages. received two million Swiss francs, worked as a consultant for Blatter between 1998 and 2002.
Platini and Blatter signed a written agreement in August 1999 to pay FIFA 300,000 Swiss francs per year, confirming that they verbally agreed to pay 700,000 Swiss francs annually, more if FIFA’s finances allow.
Platini, the three-time European Golden Ball holder for the best player in the 1980s, who held the presidency of the European Union “between 2007 and 2015” and aspired to the presidency of FIFA, presented a bill of 2 million Swiss francs at the start 2011, which Blatter signed and presented to FIFA as a late salary balance, while the prosecution considered it false.
The two men seeking the acquittal alleged political and judicial manipulation to remove them from power.
During the investigation and two weeks of hearings, the defense tried to introduce the possibility of a possible behind-the-scenes role for current FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who was Platini’s right-hand man at UEFA, then unexpectedly elected to FIFA. presidency in early 2016, following a historic corruption scandal and the waste of hundreds of millions of dollars in football organization officials.
It is noteworthy that the European and international federations have their headquarters in Switzerland, Zurich and Nyon respectively.
Blatter joined FIFA in 1975 and became Secretary General in 1981 and head of the largest football organization from 1998. In 2015, he was forced to resign from his post and was suspended for eight years, reduced to six years, for violating ethical rules.
As for Platini, who is considered one of the most prominent players in football history, he was in turn subject to an eight-year suspension, which was reduced to four by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.