Former top football execs Blatter and Platini cleared on corruption charges

Former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter and ex-UEFA president Michel Platini have been cleared of corruption charges, Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court ruled on Friday.

Prosecutors had accused Blatter and Platini of illegally arranging in 2011 a payment of 2 million francs (€1.89 million) from FIFA to Platini for a consultancy service the ex-UEFA chief delivered a decade earlier during Blatter’s first term. But the then-FIFA head maintained that he and Platini had made an oral “gentleman’s agreement” giving a legal basis to the delayed payment.

Blatter was also charged with mismanagement and misappropriation of FIFA funds, as well as forgery of a document. Platini was charged with alleged fraud, misappropriation, forgery and being an accomplice to Blatter’s mismanagement. They were both cleared of these charges as well.

“The truth has come to light during this trial and I deeply thank the judges of the tribunal for the independence of their decision,” Platini said in a statement following the ruling.  

The two former football officials were banned from football for eight years over the payment in 2015 by FIFA’s own ethics committee. The ban was later reduced to six years by FIFA’s appeals committee for Blatter and four years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for Platini.