The trial of Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter began on Wednesday in Switzerland. Notably, the Frenchman was convicted of “fraud”.
How do you keep the light when you win millions? The fraud trial of Michel Platini and former FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Thursday turned into a clash of cultures, between the unofficial behind-the-scenes of world football described by the defendants and the perceived astonishment of Swiss justice.
“Million of what?”
“When Mr. Blatter asked me to be his advisor, he asked me what salary I wanted. I was surprised that he asked me this question and I told him: I want a million
‘” says Triple Golden Ball, 66, on the second day of his trial at the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona (southeast).
““A million what?” Seb said to me. And I said, for fun, “Pesetta, lira, ruble, mark, it’s up to you.” He said to me, “Well, a million Swiss francs
“, continues the former Captain of the Blues, your mischievous person remembers having” succumb to charisma From Switzerland to bring him to the FIFA presidency in 1998.
Silent for a few seconds, President Josephine Conto Albrizio hesitates, then makes sure that the former UEFA president (2007-2015), who seemed destined to take over the FIFA presidency in turn until the courts did not reject him in 2015, ” Differences in values between currencies.
” I’ve never been in a department like FIFA, and I don’t know how it works (…) I answered like that, a million »», moving away from the darling of world football, the first to unite to this degree, until his fall, his sporting glory and political responsibilities.
However, the credibility of his story, bolstered by that of Sepp Blatter, is at the heart of the two men’s trial for a sum of 2 million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros) that FIFA awarded to the French in 2011.
For the accused, it is” Balance Certainly, belatedly in the reward agreed upon between them for the work of the chancellor that Platini did between 1998 and 2002, which consisted in assisting Blatter in his political displacement, financially assisting the unions and reforming the international calendar.
But the prosecution considers it a boost.” Incorrect “Obtained by induction” cleverly wrongr “FIFA internal controls through false assurances from the two allies, a fraud punishable by five years in prison.
The prosecution notes in particular the inconsistency with the only contract signed between the two men, in August 1999, which provided for a bonus of 300,000 Swiss francs per year that was settled by the Zurich authority.
But Blatter, like Platini, gave another reading of this document, a temporary arrangement in the face of the fragile financial situation at the time for FIFA. Platini told me:
That’s not all
“and I answered him”
The rest will come later
“,” the 86-year-old Swiss told the court.
” I just had this guy in my house and he was worth a million dollars And the deposed king of world football continued, tired at the end of Wednesday’s session, but he was in a state of great alert Thursday morning, stressing: gentleman’s agreement Concluded orally, without witnesses, and not included in FIFA accounts.
Another reason for the judges’ confusion is the miscalculation of Michel Platini, who ended up asking FIFA 500,000 Swiss francs a year and thus forgetting 200,000, for not checking how much he actually received.
” I was wrong “The French recognize laughter crossing the courtroom.” I realized this when the prosecutor showed me the 1999 contract during interrogation “.
Yet the chief insists: Why didn’t you bother to mention the remaining balance to be paid? ” I trusted the person. And you will understand, in our discussions, that I was not concerned about money, because since I was seventeen I have made a very good living. “.
The hearing is scheduled to last until June 22, and a decision is expected on July 8.