Swiss prosecutors charged former Fifa officials Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini with fraud and other offences on Tuesday, following a six-year investigation into a disputed $2 million payment.
Blatter, 85, and Platini, 65, will be tried in federal criminal court in Bellinzona in the coming months. In a statement, Swiss federal authorities said the payment “damaged Fifa’s assets and fraudulently enriched Platini.”
The case, which began in September 2015, resulted in Blatter’s resignation from Fifa ahead of schedule, as well as the demise of then-UEFA President Michel Platini’s bid to succeed his old mentor. The scandal revolves upon Platini’s January 2011 written request to Fifa for backdated increased salary.
Platini’s written request to Fifa in January 2011 for backdated additional salary for acting as a presidential adviser during Blatter’s first term, from 1998 to 2002, is at the heart of the issue. Blatter gave Fifa permission to make the payment within a few weeks.
He was prepared to run for re-election in a race against Qatar’s Mohamed bin Hammam, in which Platini’s clout among European voters would be crucial.
Both Blatter and Platini have long denied wrongdoing, citing a verbal agreement they made for the money to be paid more than 20 years ago.
Both men have been barred from participating in football as a result of Fifa’s own inquiry into their actions.