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Football legends cleared from corruption after seven years

On Friday former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and France football legend Michel Platini were both cleared of corruption charges by a Swiss court, after a seven-year investigation during which they were booted out of the sport.

A judge said the pair’s account of a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ for FIFA to pay Platini, the president of the European Football Association UEFA in the years 2007-2015, CHF 2 mln (EUR 2.02 mln) for consulting work was credible. Furthermore, serious doubts existed about the prosecution’s allegation that it was a fraudulent payment.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and France footballing legend Michel Platini have both been cleared of corruption charges by a Swiss court.

— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 8, 2022

As a result the former FIFA president, who led the association for 17 years, was cleared of fraud by the Federal Criminal Court in the southern city of Bellinzona.

Michel Platini, a former France national team captain and manager, was also acquitted of fraud.

Swiss federal prosecutors said they would examine the written verdict before deciding whether to appeal.

I can smile again

The two, once among the most powerful figures in global soccer, had denied the charges against them.

“Naturally nobody’s perfect, but in the case of my job, my work, 44 years working at FIFA, for me it is so important that this case has been settled at the highest Swiss level,” a relieved but frail-looking Sepp Blatter told reporters outside the court.

In turn, Michel Platini stated that “it’s been seven years of slanders, seven years of a lot of things, it wasn’t very pleasant. So today, I can smile again.”

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