A “gentlemen’s agreement”. It is in these terms that Sepp Blatter, the former president of the International Football Federation (Fifa) who appears for fraud alongside Michel Platini before the Federal Criminal Court of Bellinzona (Switzerland)qualifies, Wednesday, June 9, the agreement reached between him and the former boss of UEFA in 1998. An agreement which would explain everything, according to the two defendants, and which at the heart of this affair concerning a suspicious payment of 1.8 million euros.
In 1998, the Swiss, then number two in FIFA, was a candidate to take the lead. He asks Michel Platini to join his team if he is elected. The ex-captain of the Blues accepts “I fell for Blatter’s charisma”he says, on the second day of this trial. “When he asked me how much I wanted, I said: a million a year…” A million what? “Me for fun I said pesetas, rubles, marks…” It will finally be in Swiss francs.
>> Platini-Blatter trial: the key dates that brought the two men to justice
But not everything will be paid immediately, FIFA’s finances are in the red, according to Sepp Blatter. In the meantime, he signs a contract for 300,000 francs a year. It is the rest of this sum that will resurface in 2011, repeat the triple golden ball and the former big boss of world football: an arrears of salary of two million Swiss francs. Nothing more. Their two stories match.
We even feel a kind of newfound complicity between the old friends who have become rivals, who are glancing at each other in the courtroom.
Fifa: “Michel Platini was worth his million”, maintains Sepp Blatter on the second day of their trial for fraudhttps://t.co/xXEzweWXc6 pic.twitter.com/AfwVbbTFHv
— franceinfo (@franceinfo) June 9, 2022
Yet the chosen date of payment, early 2011, makes Swiss justice wince. Because at that time Sepp Blatter is a candidate for a 4th term. And that Michel Platini, then president of UEFA, campaigned for him. Why did you wait for that moment to get paid? “President Blatter had to keep his word”assures Michel Platini, for whom it is only a question of honor and not of money.
The ex-number 10 is indignant at the treatment of Fifa over the past seven years. “I didn’t think that a house for which I played three World Cups would treat me like this. I hope there will be justice one day”. Sepp Blatter and him also categorically refuse to answer the questions of the lawyer of Fifa.
Fifa is surprised: why the invoice of two million Swiss francs does not appear in any financial report of the association in 2011? Even though they swear that everyone knew in the instance of football. Response from Michel Platini: it’s a political plot