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10th Jun 2022

Michel Platini accuses FIFA of making him and Sepp Blatter look like ‘fraudsters’

Callum Boyle

Platini and Blatter are currently on trial for fraud

Former UEFA president Michel Platini has launched a scathing attack on FIFA and accused the governing body of making him and former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter out to be “cheaters, fraudsters, and money launderers.”

The start to the trial had been delayed by a day after Blatter, 86, had said he was too ill to participate – complaining of chest pains and was having “difficulty breathing.”

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

The case led to Blatter leaving his 17-year role as FIFA president under a dark cloud in 2015 while Platini was denied any hopes of succeeding him and was forced to quit UEFA in 2016.

Blatter is accused of “fraud, in the alternative of misappropriation, in the further alternative of criminal mismanagement as well as of forgery of a document”.

Meanwhile, Platini is accused of “fraud, misappropriation, participating in criminal mismanagement as an accomplice and forgery of a document”.

Michel Platini FIFA Sepp Blatter

‘What FIFA did to the president of FIFA and me is scandalous’

Both Platini and Blatter have denied any wrongdoing, with Platini hitting out at FIFA in his testimony on Thursday.

“What FIFA did to the president of FIFA and me is scandalous, they made us out to be cheaters, fraudsters, money launderers,” he 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.”

Speaking after the first day of the trial outside the courthouse, Platini struck a confident figure, despite the ever-growing scrutiny on him and Blatter.

“I am convinced that justice will be fully and definitively done to me after so many years of wild accusations and slander,” he said.

“We will prove in court that I acted with the utmost honesty, that the payment of the remaining salary was due to me by FIFA and is perfectly legal.”

The trial is due to conclude on July 22 with a verdict set to take place on Friday July 8.

Should both Platini and Blatter be found guilty, they may face up to five years in prison, or be hit with a significant fine.

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