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Platini: What FIFA did to me and Blatter is a "scandal"

Platini: What FIFA did to me and Blatter is a “scandal”

Michel Platini, the former president of the European Football Association (UEFA), violently attacked the International Federation of the game (FIFA) today, Thursday, during his appearance before a court in Switzerland on accusations of fraud.

Platini appeared before the court after the Swiss former president of the International Football Association (FIFA) Joseph Blatter finished his statement before the court, and said angrily, “What FIFA did to its president and me is a scandal, I have been described as a forger of accounts and a money launderer.”

He added, “The goal for everyone was to know that I should not become president of FIFA, there is justice in life, and I hope that it will come to light.”

Blatter and Platini complained that the media had prejudged them, on the sidelines of the second day of the trial sessions.

Blatter said he would not answer questions from FIFA, as the FIFA president “also has never responded to me since March 2016” in a gesture to Gianni Infantino, addressed to a FIFA representative who was present as a special prosecutor in the proceedings.

Blatter said during his appearance before the Swiss Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona that it was “something completely mysterious to him” their presence before the criminal court.

Blatter indicated that the amount of two million Swiss francs (two million and 70 thousand dollars) that was paid to Platini, went through all the legal procedures in the International Football Association.

“It is debt, late payment of salaries,” he added. “It is an administrative matter in the union and it will be dealt with in accordance with the civil law.”

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Blatter expressed his astonishment at the questioning he was subjected to by the Public Prosecution in 2015 for allegations of fraud, “This shock has lasted for seven years now, the shock is still present.”

He confirmed that he had already received the “maximum punishment” during that period “for being an outcast” from the world, adding, “The media gave me a criminal record.”

The duo face accusations of defrauding FIFA over the amount paid to Platini for the work he accomplished as an advisor to the International Federation between 1998 and 2002, among other charges.

In August 1999, a contract was agreed to take effect from the beginning of that year, with a salary of 300,000 Swiss francs, and then Platini indicated that this was not the full amount that had been agreed upon, and Blatter told him, “We will discuss that later.”

In 2011, Platini’s receivables totaled two million Swiss francs.

Blatter, 86, was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, the first day of court hearings, but that was postponed due to his feeling unwell.

The two former officials confirmed their innocence before the trial sessions, which will last for 11 days, until June 22, knowing that the verdict in the case will be issued on July 8.

Blatter confirmed that after he was elected president of FIFA in 1998, he agreed to cooperate with Platini, noting that the former French official told him, “I’m worth a million.”

For his part, Platini, 66, explained, “I told him as a joke, “Pesetta, ruble or Mark, you have to decide.”

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In August 1999, a contract was agreed to take effect from the beginning of that year, with a salary of 300,000 Swiss francs, and then Platini indicated that this was not the full amount that had been agreed upon, and Blatter told him, “We will discuss that later.”

When asked about the timing, Platini explained, “The money was not very important to me and I laughed about it being 800,000 francs less than what was agreed upon.” That’s me,” he added, laughing, “I was wrong.”

Platini confirmed that the timing of the revelation of this incident in 2015, coincided with strong talk about the possibility of taking over the presidency of FIFA, succeeding Blatter.

Gianni Infantino, the former Secretary-General of FIFA, took over the presidency of FIFA in 2016.