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Swiss court clears Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini of corruption

Swiss court clears Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini of corruption

Swiss court clears Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini of corruption

Swiss court clears Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini of corruption. (credits: google)

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  • A Swiss court clears Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini of all corruption-related allegations.
  • Authorities charged the two with conspiring illegally to have FIFA pay Platini £1.7 million in 2011.
  • Blatter was forced to resign from his position as FIFA president in disgrace.
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A Swiss court on Friday exonerated former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA president Michel Platini of all corruption-related allegations.

In the southern city of Bellinzona, the Federal Criminal Court exonerated Blatter, who oversaw FIFA for 17 years, of wrongdoing.

Platini, a former manager and captain of the France national team, was also cleared of fraud charges.

The two, who were previously among the most influential individuals in international football, have refuted the accusations.

Authorities have charged Platini and Swiss-born Blatter with conspiring illegally to have FIFA pay the Frenchman two million Swiss francs (£1.7 million) in 2011. Blatter served as FIFA’s president for 17 years.

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The scandal caused Blatter to resign from his position as FIFA president in disgrace and destroyed Platini’s chances of succeeding him after the scandal forced him to be suspended from football.

When Blatter requested Platini to serve as his technical advisor in 1998, he claimed that the money was the result of a “gentlemen’s agreement” between the two.

With a yearly salary of 300,000 Swiss francs (£257,000), Platini served as a consultant for FIFA between 1998 and 2002. According to Blatter, this was the maximum amount FIFA could pay due to financial difficulties the organisation was experiencing at the time.

Blatter stated that the remaining portion of Platini’s annual remuneration of one million dollars (about £857,000) would be resolved later.

Although the two individuals met in 2010 and spoke about the 2011 FIFA presidency elections, the reasons behind the payment remain unknown.

Blatter was running for re-election against Qatar’s Mohamed bin Hammam at the time he approved the payment. Platini, who served as UEFA’s president at the time, was thought to have clout with voters in Europe.

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The payment came to light after a significant investigation into bribery, fraud, and money laundering within FIFA was conducted by the US Department of Justice in 2015, which led to Blatter’s departure.

Due to the payment, both officials received eight-year football bans in 2015; however, those suspensions were eventually shortened.

Following the punishment, Platini was also fired as president of UEFA. He claimed the incident was an intentional attempt to hinder his 2015 bid to lead FIFA.

Gianni Infantino, Platini’s former general secretary at UEFA, ran for FIFA president in 2016 and won.

“I want to convey my satisfaction for all my loved ones that justice has finally been done after seven years of lies and manipulation,” Platini said in a statement following the verdict.

“My struggle is a fight against injustice,” he continued. My first game was won.

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