Blatter, Platini cleared of corruption charges
Swiss court has cleared former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA president and French football legend Michel Platini of any corruption charges.
A payment of two million Swiss francs (£1.7 million) made by FIFA to Platini in 2015 led to the initiation of criminal proceedings against the two.
At the time, Platini, 67, led UEFA, and Blatter, 86, presided over FIFA.
“I want to express my happiness for all my loved ones that justice has finally been done after seven years of lies and manipulation,” Platini said in a statement following the verdict.
He continued: “My fight is a fight against injustice. I won a first game.”
In response, Blatter stated: “I’m speaking about me. I’m not speaking about FIFA. I’m not speaking about corruption.
“I have done nothing wrong. I am clean with my conscious, I am clean in my spirit.”
The two men claimed that a “gentleman’s agreement” they made in 1998 led to the payment in question being made in 2011. This version of events, according to the prosecution, is an “invention.”
It was alleged that Platini earned 300,000 Swiss francs ($118,000) annually while serving as FIFA’s technical director between 1998 and 2002.
Due to FIFA’s financial issues, it was decided that the remaining one million Swiss francs (£400,000) of his salary would be paid to him later.
Ten years later, Blatter was running for re-election as the head of the global soccer governing body when he approved the transfer of funds from FIFA to Platini.
Regarding the contest between Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar and Platini, the European voting caucus appeared to be under his control.
In 2015, the US government launched a thorough investigation into allegations of bribery, fraud, and money laundering at FIFA, which resulted in Blatter resigning.
He and Platini were each given an eight-year football ban in 2015, though this was later shortened.
Platini asserted that the investigation was a planned attempt to keep him from becoming the FIFA president.
Remember that Platini competed for France in the 1978, 1982, and 1986 FIFA World Cups.
After Juventus defeated Liverpool 1-0 in the 1985 final, they became the third Italian team to win the Champions League. He scored the lone goal from the penalty spot.