Blatter & Platini: Ex-Fifa men found not guilty in fraud trial

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Here’s everything we know after the Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini fraud trial in Switzerland.

Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and former UEFA President Michel Platini were acquitted of corruption charges in Switzerland today (Friday 8 July).

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The Frenchman “presented FIFA in 2011 with an allegedly fictitious invoice for an (alleged) outstanding debt for his work as an adviser to FIFA from 1998 to 2002,” the court said.

The investigation ended Blatter and Platini’s careers at UEFA and FIFA, while both were initially banned from football for eight years by the FIFA Ethics Committee.

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What have they been accused of?

Both Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were accused of fraud and forgery.

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Meanwhile, Blatter has been accused of embezzlement and criminal mismanagement, and Platini has been accused of complicity in these offences.

The couple could face up to five years in prison if found guilty this week.

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What did Blatter & Platini say before they were acquitted?

Upon arriving at court on Friday, Blatter said: “I’m not innocent in my life, but in this case I’m innocent.”

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In his statement, the 86-year-old said he asked Platini to become his agent in 1998.

He said former France captain Platini wanted 1 million Swiss francs (£816,030) a year, but Blatter told him Fifa couldn’t afford that fee and instead opted for 300,000 Swiss francs (£244,809) a year, with the outstanding amount to be paid later date.

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During the trial, Blatter told the court: “When we started with Michel Platini, I knew that’s not the total and we would look at that later.

“It was an agreement between two athletes. I didn’t find anything wrong with that.”

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Meanwhile, Platini had said he “trusted” the President to pay him one day.

The three-time Ballon d’Or winner had previously said he felt the ban was a deliberate attempt to prevent him from becoming FIFA President six years ago.

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What was said now?

Following the conclusion of the court case, Platini’s attorney, Dominic Nellen, issued a statement.

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He said: “My client’s full acquittal is the only correct outcome of this criminal proceeding.

“The court duly assessed the evidence and finally put an end to this unspeakable criminal case.

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“A neutral court concluded that there was no wrongdoing in this case. My client is accordingly exonerated and exonerated.”

Platini added: “I wanted to express my joy to all my loved ones that after seven years of lies and manipulation, justice has finally been achieved.

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“The truth has emerged during this trial and I deeply thank the judges of the tribunal for the independence of their decision.

“I’ve said it again and again – my fight is a fight against injustice. I won a first game. In this case, there are perpetrators who did not appear during this process. Let her count on me, we will meet again. Because I will not give up and will go all the way in my search for the truth.

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“Despite the length of the procedure, I always had confidence in the Swiss legal system and the rule of law that prevails here.

“Believe me, going from a legend of world football to a devil is very difficult, especially when it comes to you in a totally unfair way.

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“But before I think about the future, I would like to thank my family and close friends, my lawyers who have been so brilliant in their support and encouragement throughout my ordeal, and most importantly, the people I have met over the years, for theirs Thank you for the loving looks and gestures that are so strongly characterized by support and sympathy for me.”

Individual wealth

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Corresponding celebrity net worth, Sepp Blatter has a net worth of $40 million.

It is reported that at the peak of his time at FIFA, he was earning an annual salary of $6 million along with generous bonuses.

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Meanwhile, Michel Platini’s net worth is estimated at $15 million.

The 67-year-old only joined UEFA in 2007, 20 years after retiring from professional football.

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