Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the ex-boss of UEFA Michel Platini are heading towards a trial for fraud and abuse of confidence, Swiss prosecutors told AFP on Wednesday.
It is the clearest indication yet of the direction the prosecution intends to take in the long-running case involving a payment of two million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros, $2.15 million) made to Platini in 2011 on Blatter’s orders.
“The parties have been informed by letter that the investigation by the prosecutor’s office is complete and that it intends to seek indictments against the two suspects, Joseph Blatter and Michel Platini,” prosecutors said in a statement to AFP, adding that both men had been contacted in August.
Blatter was forced to stand down as FIFA president in 2015 after 17 years in charge of world football. He was banned for eight years, later reduced to six, over ethics breaches for authorising what prosecutors term a “disloyal payment” to Platini—in other words, one made in his own interests rather than FIFA’s.
Blatter, 85, insists the payment to Frenchman Platini, 66, was above board.
In a written statement to AFP on Wednesday, Blatter said he would be “optimistic” if a trial took place.
“We would finally have an opportunity to put all the facts on the table and clarify this affair,” he said.
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