A Swiss court has indicted former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and former European Football Association President Michel Platini of France, with crimes including “fraud,” the public prosecutor announced.
“Both are accused of arranging the illegal payment of two million Swiss francs ($2.19 million) from FIFA to Michel Platini,” the statement from the Swiss public prosecutor’s office said.
It is now up to the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzon to decide whether to try the two former presidents, who are also on trial for “unfair administration”, “bad credit” and “improper payment”, in a 2011 case that ended their careers. .
The Swiss statement pointed out that the amount was in return for advisory work that Platini had done to then FIFA President Blatter between 1999 and 2002.
He noted that there was a written contract for an annual compensation of 300,000 Swiss francs (187,400 euros at the time) “which Platini had invoiced on every occasion and was paid in full by FIFA”.
According to the ” New York Times “, Blatter has been the subject of various investigations for years, but it is the first time that he has actually been charged with criminal charges.
This may not be the last time, as prosecutors are still considering a $1 million loan made by FIFA in 2010 to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.
The new accusations come as Blatter faced a bid for the FIFA presidency from Qatari billionaire Mohammed bin Hammam, who was at the time head of the Asian Football Association.
Both Blatter and Platini confirmed that the money was late payments for tasks Platini, captain of France’s 1984 European Championship-winning team, carried out for Blatter after he was elected president of FIFA for the first time in 1998.
The Swiss indictment against Blatter, 85, comes at a time when he is in critical condition, as he has been hospitalized several times since he was forced to leave the FIFA presidency.
The statement by the Swiss attorney general who announced the charges did not mention a trial date, while Blatter said he would be able to clear his name.
While US prosecutors have so far recovered tens of millions of dollars and indicted prominent defendants in FIFA corruption cases, efforts by Swiss authorities have so far yielded little.