Accessibility links

Breaking News

Swiss Court Acquits Two Former Soccer Power Brokers of Fraud


Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter gives a thumb up as he leaves Switzerland's Federal Criminal Court after the verdict of his trial over a suspected fraudulent payment, in the southern Switzerland city of Bellinzona, on July 8, 2022.

A Swiss court acquitted former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and France footballing legend and former head of UEFA Michel Platini of corruption charges Friday, ending a seven-year investigation.

Both were accused of fraud over an alleged 2011 payment of $2 million from Blatter to Platini for consulting fees.

The Swiss judge Friday said the payment was credibly used for consulting work and was likely not fraudulent.

Blatter and Platini had characterized the payment as a “gentlemen's agreement.”

"I have always said my conscience is clear," Blatter told reporters outside the court.

"Naturally nobody's perfect, but in the case of my job, my work, 44 years working at FIFA, for me it is so important that this case has been settled at the highest Swiss level," the 86-year-old added.

Former UEFA president Michel Platini surrounded by journalists, arrives to Switzerland's Federal Criminal Court to listen the verdict of his trial over a suspected fraudulent payment, in the southern Switzerland city of Bellinzona, on July 8, 2022.
Former UEFA president Michel Platini surrounded by journalists, arrives to Switzerland's Federal Criminal Court to listen the verdict of his trial over a suspected fraudulent payment, in the southern Switzerland city of Bellinzona, on July 8, 2022.

Platini also expressed relief at the decision.

“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.

"The truth has come to light," he added. "I kept saying it: my fight is a fight against injustice."

The two men were banned from soccer several years ago.

Both could have faced prison time or fines.

Some information in this report comes from The Associated Press and Reuters.

Recommended

XS
SM
MD
LG