Blatter and Platini indicted for fraud in Switzerland over £1.4m payment

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and ex-UEFA president Michel Platini have been indicted over unlawfully arranging a payment of £1.4m

The Office of the Swiss Attorney General (OAG) 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 UEFA president continued to demand payment.

But prosecutors said that more than eight years after his consultant role ended, Platini demanded a payment of £1.4 million for backdated additional salary, which FIFA paid him in early 2011 “with Blatter’s involvement.”

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.”

“The evidence gathered by the OAG has corroborated that this payment to Platini was made without a legal basis,” the statement explains.

Blatter and Platini both have denied wrongdoing over the fee, saying it was for legitimate work Platini provided to FIFA and that they had worked out a verbal agreement for the additional wage.

The timing of the payment caught the attention of Swiss prosecutors, as it was made around the time of Platini’s decision not to oppose Blatter for the FIFA presidency in 2011 and to support Blatter’s candidacy.

Prosecutors have charged Blatter with fraud, mismanagement, misappropriation of FIFA funds and forgery of a document. Platini was charged with fraud, misappropriation, forgery and as an accomplice to Blatter’s alleged mismanagement.

The attorney general’s office will present its conclusions at a hearing before the Federal Criminal Court.

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