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Blatter rebuffs payments to Platini were illegal

Thu 09 June 2022 | 16:22

Sepp Blatter, the former FIFA president, claims he "saw nothing wrong" with the arrangement he signed with Michel Platini.

While he was president of FIFA,

Sepp Blatter

denied authorizing illegal payments to

Michel Platini

, claiming the money transfer was a "gentleman's arrangement" between the two.

Last year, Swiss authorities accused Blatter and Platini of fraud and other offenses in connection with a payment of 2 million Swiss francs made by international football's governing body to the former UEFA president in 2011.

The trial was set to begin on Wednesday at the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona, but Blatter was unable to go owing to chest discomfort. 

When Blatter was elected to the presidency of FIFA in 1998, he recruited former

France

captain Michel Platini to act as a consultant for the organization.

The governing body, according to the 86-year-old, could not afford the CHF 1 million a year Platini requested but decided to give him CHF 300,000 per year, with the remaining funds to be paid at a later date.

Blatter said in court: "I knew when we started with Michel Platini that is not the total, and we would look at it later,"

He noted that they shook hands on a "gentleman's agreement".

Blatter added: "It was an agreement between two sportsmen. I found nothing wrong with that."

Platini said: "I trusted the president and knew he would pay me one day."

Platini, who is 66 years old, told the court that he did not need the cash he was owed when he left FIFA in 2002, when Blatter alleged the governing organization was "poor." 

After hearing that two former workers had got big payouts, he urged FIFA to pay up in January 2011, and Platini said that he was paid 10 days after filing an invoice, with Blatter confirming the transfer.

Following an Ethics Committee inquiry that defined the payment as "disloyal," FIFA banned Blatter from football activity for eight years, which was later reduced to six.

Platini was also sentenced to an eight-year ban, which was eventually reduced to six months.

Swiss Blatter is accused of fraud, embezzlement, unlawful mismanagement, and document fabrication.

Platini has been charged with forgery of documentation, fraud, misappropriation of funds, criminal mismanagement, and misuse of funds.

Blatter and Platini have both denied any misconduct. The investigation is still ongoing. 

 


source: SportMob

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