Blatter denies payments to Platini were fraudulent

By Sports Desk June 09, 2022

Sepp Blatter has denied approving fraudulent payments to Michel Platini while he was president of FIFA, saying the cash transfer was a "gentleman's agreement" between the pair.

Blatter and Platini were last year charged with fraud and other offences by Swiss authorities relating to a payment of 2million Swiss francs made by world football's governing body to the ex-UEFA chief in 2011.

The trial at the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona was due to start on Wednesday, but Blatter was unable to attend as he was suffering from chest pains.

Blatter provided his testimony on Thursday, stating he asked former France captain Platini to work for FIFA as an advisor when he was elected as president in 1998.

The 86-year-old said the governing body could not afford the CHF 1m per year Platini asked for but agreed to pay him CHF 300,000 a year, with the remaining cash to be settled up at a later date.

Blatter said in court: "I knew when we started with Michel Platini that is not the total, and we would look at it later,"

He stated that they shook hands on a "gentleman's agreement".

Blatter added: "It was an agreement between two sportsmen. I found nothing wrong with that."

Platini said: "I trusted the president and knew he would pay me one day."

The 66-year-old Platini told the court he did not need the money he was owed when he stopped working for FIFA in 2002, a time when Blatter claimed the governing body was "broke".

It was not until January 2011 he asked FIFA to pay up after hearing two former employees had received substantial payments, and Platini revealed he was paid 10 days after sending an invoice, with Blatter approving the transfer.

Blatter was originally banned from footballing activities for eight years, reduced to six, by FIFA in 2015 following an Ethics Committee investigation that described the payment as "disloyal". Platini was also given an eight-year suspension, which was later reduced.

Swiss Blatter has been charged with fraud, misappropriation, criminal mismanagement and forgery of a document. Platini has been charged with fraud, participating in misappropriation, participating in criminal mismanagement and forgery of a document.

Both Blatter and Platini deny any wrongdoing. The case continues.

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