TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Sunday, Jul 21, 2024

Swiss court clears Blatter, Platini of fraud in FIFA trial

Swiss court clears Blatter, Platini of fraud in FIFA trial

Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court acquits ex-world and European football chiefs over a suspected fraudulent payment.

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, once the chiefs of world and European football, have been acquitted over a suspected fraudulent payment that shook the sport and torpedoed their time at the top.

Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court in the southern city of Bellinzona on Friday rejected the prosecution’s request for a suspended prison sentence of a year and eight months, following a mammoth investigation that began in 2015 and lasted six years.

Gavin Hamilton, an international football journalist and editor for Sport Business, told Al Jazeera from London that “it is a surprise that they were acquitted”.

“It’s been a messy affair. It has exposed a lot of the shenanigans inside FIFA and the way the business was done within FIFA for many years,” he said.

Former FIFA president Blatter, 86, and Platini, 67, were tried over a two million Swiss franc ($2.05m) payment in 2011 to Platini, who was then in charge of European football’s governing body UEFA.

The former French football great “submitted to FIFA in 2011 an allegedly fictitious invoice for a (alleged) debt still existing for his activity as an adviser for FIFA in the years 1998 to 2002”, according to the court.

Blatter insisted before the court that the pair had struck an oral “gentlemen’s agreement”, with some of Platini’s remuneration to be paid at a later date when FIFA’s fragile finances would allow it.

Both were accused of fraud and forgery of a document. Blatter was accused of misappropriation and criminal mismanagement, while Platini was accused of participating in those offences.

Platini surrounded by journalists as he arrives at Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court


Blatter and Platini maintained their innocence throughout their trial, which ran from June 8 to 22.

The indictment was filed by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland.

Both FIFA and UEFA are headquartered in Switzerland, in Zurich and Nyon respectively.


Banned from the sport


Platini and Blatter were banned from the sport at the very moment when the former seemed ideally placed to succeed Blatter at the helm of world football’s governing body.

The two allies became rivals as Platini grew impatient to take over, while Blatter’s tenure was brought to a swift end by a separate 2015 FIFA corruption scandal investigated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Joseph “Sepp” Blatter joined FIFA in 1975, became its general secretary in 1981 and the president of world football’s governing body in 1998.

He was forced to stand down in 2015 and was banned by FIFA for eight years, later reduced to six, over ethics breaches for authorising the payment to Platini, allegedly made in his own interests rather than FIFA’s.

Platini is regarded among world football’s greatest ever players. He won the Ballon d’Or, considered the most prestigious individual award, three times – in 1983, 1984 and 1985.

Platini was UEFA’s president from January 2007 to December 2015. He appealed against his initial eight-year suspension at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which reduced it to four years.



Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×