Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA president Michel Platini have been indicted over unlawfully arranging a payment of two million Swiss francs ($2.19 million), the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) of Switzerland said on Tuesday.
Swiss prosecutors have been probing Blatter, 85, over accusations he arranged the payment from world soccer’s governing body FIFA to Platini in February 2011.
The OAG accused Blatter and Platini of “fraud, in the alternative of misappropriation, in the further alternative of criminal mismanagement as well as of forgery of a document.” Platini, who captained France to victory in the 1984 European Championship, was also charged as an accomplice.
Blatter and Platini were both banned in 2016 from soccer for six years over the payment, made with Blatter’s approval for work done a decade earlier. Both had denied any wrongdoing.
Blatter’s lawyer declined to comment on the charges while Platini did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The OAG said its investigation revealed that Platini worked as a consultant for then FIFA president Blatter between 1998-2002 and that an annual compensation of 300,000 Swiss francs was agreed upon in a written contract.
The OAG said Platini had invoiced the contract and had been paid in full but the 66-year-old former France international continued to demand payment.
“Over eight years after the termination of his advisory activity, Platini demanded a payment in the amount of two million Swiss francs,” the OAG said.
“With Blatter’s involvement, FIFA made a payment to Platini in said amount at the beginning of 2011. The evidence gathered by the OAG has corroborated that this payment to Platini was made without a legal basis.
“This payment damaged FIFA’s assets and unlawfully enriched Platini. In the view of the OAG, the accused have committed the offences listed.”
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
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