Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini acquitted of fraud by Swiss court | Fifa

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Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have been acquitted of fraud in a Swiss court. The two men, once among football’s most powerful figures, were acquitted of illegally arranging a two million Swiss francs (£1.7m) payment in 2011.

At the time, Platini was the president of Uefa and a Fifa vice-president and was expected to succeed Blatter as president of Fifa, world football’s governing body.

The payment to Platini for consultancy services in Blatter’s first term as president, from 1998 to 2002, was authorised by Blatter in January 2011 but ended up finishing both men’s careers in football.

Swiss prosecutors had said it “was made without a legal basis” and “unlawfully enriched Platini” but the judge in their trial found them not guilty. Platini will now get back his two million Swiss francs.

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Fifa ethics committee had banned them from football and removed them from office, and Blatter and Platini took their cases unsuccessfully to Fifa appeals committee and later in separate appeals at the court of arbitration for sport.

Afterwards Platini pledged he would be going after unspecified “culprits” who led to case against him. “Let them count on me, we will meet again,” he said. “Because I will not give up and I will go all the way in my quest for truth.”

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