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HomeSportsTwo Ex-FIFA Chiefs Charged with Fraud

Two Ex-FIFA Chiefs Charged with Fraud

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Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and ex-UEFA President Michel Platini faced fraud charges.

This came as a result of a years-long investigation by authorities in Switzerland.

The charges include unlawfully arranging a payment of 2 million Swiss francs (€1.89 million) from FIFA to Platini.

As well as fraud, Blatter faces other charges including mismanagement, misappropriation of FIFA funds and forgery of a document. Platini also faces charges of fraud, misappropriation, forgery and being an accomplice to Blatter’s alleged mismanagement.

“This payment damaged FIFA’s assets and unlawfully enriched Platini,” Swiss prosecutors said in a statement.

In his own statement, Blatter said he looked forward to the trial and hoped “this story will come to an end”.

He said the payment to Platini came after a verbal agreement.

Blatter said “all responsible Fifa bodies” have approved the payment. Platini had paid tax on the amount “at his Swiss place of residence”.

In January 2011, Platini demanded FIFA pay him backdated extra salary for working as a presidential adviser during Blatter’s first term, from 1998 to 2002. Blatter authorized the payment at a point when he was preparing to campaign for reelection and needed European backing, where Platini was influential.

“The evidence gathered by the [Swiss attorney general’s office] has corroborated that this payment to Platini was made without a legal basis,” the statement added.

The former football bosses now face a trial in the coming months at a Swiss federal criminal court. Blatter and Platini have denied wrongdoing.

Last year, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejected an appeal against Platini’s ban, which it said “was justified”.

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