Blatter and Platini before the Federal Criminal Court in Switzerland

The trial of former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, both accused of having illegally arranged a payment in 2011 of two million in favor of the former French footballer, opened on Wednesday before the Federal Criminal Court in Switzerland.

Until June 22, the Federal Court of Bellinzona will judge the 86-year-old Swiss and the 66-year-old Frenchman for fraud, unfair management, breach of trust and forgery in the titles in the same file, before rendering its decision on July 8. .

The two former leaders of European and world football, who contest these accusations and evoke a conspiracy, appear free before the Court in the case, which placed them on the ban of world football.

Both targeted by other procedures, in France for the triple Ballon d’Or and in Switzerland for Sepp Blatter, they risk five years’ imprisonment or a fine.

The prosecution accuses them of having “illegally obtained, to the detriment of FIFA, a payment of 2 million Swiss francs” (1.8 million euros) “in favor of Michel Platini”.

The Frenchman had indeed advised Sepp Blatter between 1998 and 2002, during the latter’s first term at the head of FIFA, and the two men had signed a contract in 1999 agreeing to an annual remuneration of 300,000 Swiss francs, fully paid by FIFA.

But in January 2011, “more than eight years after the end of his activity as an adviser”the former captain of the Blues “enforced a claim of 2 million Swiss francs”acquitted by the football authority “with the competition” of Sepp Blatter, notes the prosecution.

For the charge, it is a payment ” unfounded “obtained by inducing “artfully mistaken” FIFA’s internal controls by false assertions by the two leaders, which is the key criterion for the fraud.

The two men insist on their side that they had from the start decided on an annual salary of one million Swiss francs, orally and without witnesses, without the finances of FIFA allowing immediate payment to Michel. Platinum.

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