June 29 – Swiss federal prosecutors have cited former UEFA president Michel Platini in a widening of their probe into the infamous CHF 2 million “disloyal payment” made to him in 2011 by then FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Blatter and Platini were both banned in 2016 over the payment, made with Blatter’s approval for work done a decade earlier and without a paper trail. Both have long steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.
Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) have confirmed that in May it had widened its probe, begun in September, 2015, to cover other aspects of the matter and to investigate three additional people, including Platini.
“The criminal proceedings have been extended against former UEFA President Michel Platini on suspicion of participation in disloyal management and on suspicion of falsification of documents,” the OAG said while noting the presumption of innocence applied.
Platini said he was not aware of the development and considered the matter already closed.
“After five years, it is quite possible that FIFA will continue to harass me with complaints with the sole aim of keeping me out of football and smearing my reputation. FIFA’s best defence against me at the moment is to attack me,” he said in a statement.
Blatter, meanwhile, told Le Monde: “I am neither afraid for myself nor for Mr. Platini in this case which is a matter of civil law but not of criminal law. This payment was made as a backlog of wages [for the period when Mr. Platini was working as an advisor to Mr. Blatter, between 1998 and 2002] on which social charges were deducted. “
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org