Michel Platini and former FIFA president Sepp Blatter were acquitted on Friday in Switzerland in the fraud case that ended the former French footballer’s ambitions in 2015 to become the head of world football.
The Bellinzona federal criminal court did not follow the requirements of the prosecution, which had requested a suspended prison term of one year and eight months, respectively, in mid-June, while the two defendants pleaded not guilty.
For two weeks, the 67-year-old Frenchman and the 86-year-old Swiss appeared for “having illegally obtained, to the detriment of FIFA, a payment of 2 million Swiss francs” (1.8 million euros / 2 million dollars) “in favor of Michel Platini”.
Defense and prosecution coincided on one point: the triple Golden Ball advised Sepp Blatter between 1998 and 2002, during the latter’s first term at the head of FIFA, and in 1999 both men signed a contract that stipulated an annual remuneration of 300,000 Swiss francs, fully paid by FIFA.
But in January 2011, the former Juventus midfielder – who had by then become president of UEFA (2007-2015) – asserted the existence of “a debt of 2 million Swiss francs”, described as a “false invoice” by the accusation.
Both men meanwhile insist that they had agreed from the start to an annual salary of one million Swiss francs through an oral and unwitnessed “gentleman’s agreement”, without FIFA’s finances allowing immediate payment to Platini.
Conforms to The Trust Project criteria