Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini go on trial in Switzerland for corruption

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini go on trial in Switzerland for corruption Image Shutterstock

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, two top former FIFA officials,  have gone on trial in Switzerland for corruption.

The trial, which started June 8, brings to a head six years of criminal proceedings against the two men. If found guilty they could be sentenced to five years in prison but it is more likely they will be given suspended sentences.

Blatter, who was president of FIFA for 17 years, resigned in 2015 amid a corruption scandal with Platini being charged by federal prosecutors in Spain some two months later. Platini was charged after FIFA made a two million Swiss francs (€1.98 million) payment to him in 2011.

Both men have denied any wrongdoing claiming that they had a years-old verbal agreement for the money in return for Platini’s consultancy work between 1998 and 2002. But Swiss prosecutors disagree saying that the payment was made without legal basis “damaging FIFA’s assets and unlawfully enriching Platini”.

Blatter has been charged with fraud, mismanagement, misappropriation of funds and forgery of a document, while Platini is accused of fraud, misappropriation, forgery and as an accomplice to Blatter’s alleged mismanagement.

The suspects’ lawyers have tried to broaden the case to include alleged corruption involving FIFA’s current president Gianni Infantino.  Prosecutors have dismissed any connection between the two cases as a “conspiracy theory”.

Both were banned from football by FIFAs ethics committee.

Blatter seen arriving at the Federal Criminal Court of Switzerland in Bellinzona on Wednesday told reporters that he was confident about his chances.

He said: “I feel optimistic, like always … If I didn’t feel confident the first day that would be bad. I am very confident.

“Football is me. It’s been 45 years that I’ve been serving FIFA and international soccer. And it’s my life, it’s my professional life.”

Despite his supposed confidence, his testimony was delayed after he complained of chest pains.

The trial against Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini is expected to last two weeks, with a verdict due on July 8.

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Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at