Blatter and Platini indicted in Switzerland over fraud allegations

The charges stem from a payment made by Sepp Blatter to Michel Platini. Both men could face jail time.

This combination made on October 29, 2015 shows a picture of FIFA president Sepp Blatter (L) taken on July 20, 2015 in Zurich and a picture of UEFA President Michel Platini taken on May 28, 2015 in Zurich. Platini insisted on October 29, 2015 that he remains the best man to lead scandal-hit FIFA despite currently being suspended from the sport. Blatter has claimed there was a deal to give Russia the 2018 World Cup before voting took place, and blamed "bad losers" England and the US for the corruption scandal engulfing the organisation.  / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
This combination made on October 29, 2015 shows a picture of FIFA president Sepp Blatter (L) taken on July 20, 2015 in Zurich and a picture of UEFA President Michel Platini taken on May 28, 2015 in Zurich. Platini insisted on October 29, 2015 that he remains the best man to lead scandal-hit FIFA despite currently being suspended from the sport. Blatter has claimed there was a deal to give Russia the 2018 World Cup before voting took place, and blamed "bad losers" England and the US for the corruption scandal engulfing the organisation. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, and former UEFA President Michel Platini, have been indicted by Swiss prosecutors over charges of fraud and forgery. The charges stem from an alleged payment of two million Swiss francs made by Blatter to Platini.

In a press release, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) stated, “The OAG accuses Joseph Blatter of fraud (Art. 146 para. 1 of the Swiss Criminal Code [SCC]), in the alternative of misappropriation (Art. 138 no. 1 para. 2 SCC), in the further alternative of criminal mismanagement (Art. 158 no. 1 paras. 1 + 3 SCC) as well as of forgery of a document (Art. 251 no. 1 paras. 1 + 2 SCC).”

“Michel Platini is accused of fraud (Art. 146 para. 1 SCC), in the alternative of participating in misappropriation (Art. 138 no. 1 para. 2 SCC), for in the further alternative of participating in criminal mismanagement (Art. 158 no. 1 paras. 1 + 3 SCC), as an accomplice (Art. 25 SCC), as well as of forgery of a document (Art. 251 no. 1 paras. 1 + 2 SCC).”

The payment was allegedly made as part of a back payment for work done by Platini as a consultant for Blatter from 1998 to 2002. However, it is alleged the payment was unnecessary as Platini had already been paid the agreed upon amount in his contract during the time he worked for Blatter.

According to the OAG, “this payment damaged FIFA’s assets and unlawfully enriched Platini.”

The investigation leading to the charges stems from prior investigations into FIFA activities beginning in 2015.

For its part, FIFA levied a ban of six years away from the sport on both men. However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) later reduced Platini’s ban down to four.

Regarding the charges, Reuters quoted Blatter as stating, “I look forward to the trial before the Federal Criminal Court with optimism and I hope that this story will come to an end and that all the facts will be dealt with properly.”

“Regarding the payment of the sum of two million francs from FIFA to Michel Platini, I can only repeat myself: It was based on an oral contract that regulated Platini’s advisory activities for FIFA between 1998 and 2002.”

Blatter and Platini could face up to five years in jail according to the Associated Press.