Jul 8, 2022 - World

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini cleared of fraud charges in FIFA trial

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter reacts to leaving Switzerland's Federal Criminal Court.
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter leaves Switzerland's Federal Criminal Court on July 8. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

A Swiss court Friday acquitted former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA president Michel Platini on charges of defrauding FIFA.

Driving the news: "Following the decision of the judges of the Court of Bellinzona, this morning, I wanted to express my happiness for all my loved ones that justice has finally been done after seven years of lies and manipulation," Platini said in a statement, per AP.

  • "The truth has come to light during this trial."
  • Swiss prosecutors accused Blatter of unlawfully paying Platini about $2 million from FIFA, and the pair faced charges of fraud, mismanagement, misappropriation and forgery of a document.
  • Swiss prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand sought a 20-month suspended sentence for Blatter and Platini, AP notes.

Catch up quick: Swiss prosecutors said Platini was a consultant for Blatter from 1998 and 2002 and received annual compensation of 300,000 Swiss francs from FIFA in a payment that was agreed upon by both men, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.

  • Eight years later, Platini demanded back payment of 2 million Swiss francs, and FIFA made the payment with Blatter's approval.
  • Swiss prosecutors said the payment "damaged FIFA's assets and unlawfully enriched Platini."

What they're saying: "I kept saying it: my fight is a fight against injustice. I won a first game. In this case, there are culprits who did not appear during this trial," Platini said.

  • "Let them count on me, we will meet again. Because I will not give up and I will go all the way in my quest for truth."

Go deeper: Former top FIFA officials indicted by Swiss prosecutors

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