September 2 – It was Sepp Blatter’s turn to face the music on Tuesday when he appeared in front of a Swiss prosecutor over the “disloyal payment” of two million Swiss francs made to Michel Platini in 2011.
The former FIFA president, now 84, was quizzed about suspected criminal mismanagement at FIFA, 24 hours after one-time UEFA boss Platini visited the same offices of Switzerland’s federal prosecutors.
A criminal proceeding has long been open against Blatter, brought down by the FifaGate scandal although never charged as part of it.
Blatter instructed FIFA to pay Platini the money as a deferred consultancy fee from a decade earlier when the Frenchman had been one of his advisors.
Both men were banned as a result of the gentleman’s agreement with the FIFA ethics committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling there had been no valid contract.
“This is the moment when we start to talk about this dossier which has lasted for five years, and about which I have never been asked questions, so I am happy to be able to give information on it,” said Blatter as he arrived.
“It was back pay for work done by Michel Platini. The sum was validated by the finance commission. It cannot be a criminal offence.”
Two other former FIFA powerbrokers, former secretary-general Jerome Valcke, and Markus Kattner, the former financial director, are also being questioned this week on “suspicion of unfair management”.
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