Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini charged with fraud over £1.35m payment
Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, the former presidents of Fifa and Uefa, are facing trial after being charged with fraud by Swiss prosecutors.
The charges relate to a payment of 2m Swiss francs (£1.35m) made by Fifa to Platini in 2011, when Blatter ran football’s world governing body.
Blatter, who was forced out of Fifa in 2015 over the allegations, is also charged with mismanagement, misappropriation of Fifa funds and forgery of a document.
Former France captain Platini, who headed European body Uefa for eight years, is also charged with misappropriation, forgery and being an accomplice to Blatter’s alleged mismanagement.
The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (AOG) said: “The evidence gathered by the OAG has corroborated that this payment to Platini was made without a legal basis.
“This payment damaged Fifa’s assets and unlawfully enriched Platini. In the view of the OAG, the accused have committed the offences listed.”
Platini, 66, worked as a consultant to Blatter, 85, from 1998 to 2002, for which he was paid 300,000 Swiss francs a year, the OAG said.
In January he wrote to Fifa demanding payment for a further eight years, which Blatter authorised.
Prosecutors opened criminal proceedings against Blatter in late 2015, leading to the end of his 17-year spell as Fifa president.
He and Platini were subsequently banned from all football for six years by Fifa’s independent ethics committee, although prosecutors only placed the Frenchman under formal investigation last year.
Both men have denied wrongdoing and said the payment was based on a long-standing verbal agreement between the pair.
Blatter said: “I view the proceedings at the federal criminal court with optimism and hope that, with this, this story will come to an end and all the facts will be worked through cleanly.”