Former UEFA President, Michel Platini Comes Out Fighting As He And The Ex-FIFA President Deny Corruption In Switzerland


Former UEFA president, Michel Platini has taken swipe at FIFA and labelled the allegations of corruption against him their former boss Sepp Blatter as 'scandalous'.

 

Platini and Blatter are facing corruption charges in Switzerland, with prosecutors alleging that the pair unlawfully arranged a payment of two million Swiss francs (£1.6m) in 2011 from FIFA to Platini.

 

Both have always denied wrongdoing and Platini came out fighting in his testimony on Thursday June 9, as he looked to point the finger at the conduct of FIFA. 

 

'What FIFA did to the president of FIFA and me is scandalous, they made us out to be cheaters, fraudsters, money launderers,' Platini said.  'Just so that I wouldn't become president.

 

'It's not easy when you're known worldwide to be criticised worldwide, especially when you have children and grandchildren. 'I hope there will be justice one day.'

 

The case meant Blatter ended his 17-year reign as FIFA president in disgrace in 2015 and torpedoed hopes of former France midfielder Platini of succeeding him. 

 

Platini was forced to quit UEFA in 2016.

 

Blatter and Platini claim they had a verbal deal in 1998 for the Frenchman to be paid one million Swiss francs (£818,000) to serve as advisor to Blatter, should he be elected as FIFA president. 

 

That defence first failed with judges at the FIFA ethics committee, which banned them from football, and later in separate appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

 

Platini signed a contract with FIFA in August 1999 for 300,000 Swiss francs (£245,000) annually and backdated to January. 

 

It is claimed Blatter said he would pay only the same as FIFA's then-secretary general, and promised the balance later.

 

'In the verbal contract we didn't determine the date he would get it, it was a contract between men, and we started work immediately. I didn't give him a precise time when he would get it,' Blatter said.

 

'When I was elected FIFA president, we had a bad balance... at the time I had no idea (when the payment would be made). 

 

'I simply had this man with me and he was worth this million but I didn't know when and how he would get it.'

 

Platini, a long-time rival of Blatter but now a close ally, backed up that assessment. 

 

'I made a mistake,' he said. 'I was convinced the salary was 500,000 (Swiss francs) and I realised when the prosecutor showed me the contract. But FIFA knew they cheated me.' 

 

Both Blatter and Platini refused to answer questions from FIFA lawyer Catherine Hohl-Chirazi on day two of the trial on Thursday. 

 

The 66-year-old Platini was asked by the prosecutor why he waited until 2011 to send FIFA an invoice for the money allegedly owed. 

 

'I trusted the president and I knew that one day or the other he would pay me. I wouldn't get into a deal with the president without trusting him,' Platini added. 

 

'It wasn't vital for me that money. What was vital was the word of the president of FIFA.

 

'I have principles. I'm not going to ask for money from someone who owes me. Just that, one day, I knew that FIFA had given two big payments to employees who left and at that point I told myself it would be good that they remember they owe me money.'

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