After six years of investigations and two weeks of trials, Michel Platini and the ex-president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, will hear the judges’ verdict later today, in the case that has reached far beyond the world of football.
At 10:00 CEST, Swiss judges will announce their ruling on the case. Prosecutors have requested sentences of 20 months in prison for the pair.
Prosecutors accuse Blatter, a Swiss national who led FIFA for 17 years, and Platini, a former France national team captain and manager, of unlawfully arranging for FIFA to pay Platini two million Swiss francs (€1.8 million) in 2011.
Both men deny the allegations. Blatter, 86, had said the two-million franc payment followed a “gentlemen’s agreement” between the pair when he asked Platini to be his technical adviser in 1998.
Platini, 67, worked as a consultant between 1998 and 2002 with an annual salary of 300,000 Swiss francs. The rest of Platini’s one million per year salary was to be settled at a later date, Blatter said.
Prosecutors, however, have said that the oral agreement between the two men never existed, and described it as an “invention”.
When Blatter approved the payment, he was campaigning for re-election and Platini, then president of UEFA, was seen as having sway with European members who could influence the vote.
Accusations of wrongdoing ended Blatter’s reign as FIFA president and wrecked Platini’s hopes of succeeding him, after both were banned from football when the affair came to light.