Sepp Blatter's turn to face Swiss prosecutor over Michel Platini payment

Sepp Blatter's turn to face Swiss prosecutor over Michel Platini payment
Sepp Blatter's turn to face Swiss prosecutor over Michel Platini payment

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter was questioned on Tuesday by a Swiss prosecutor over a payment of two million Swiss francs (Dh8.1 million) made to former Uefa boss Michel Platini in 2011.

Blatter, 84, arrived at the headquarters of the Public Ministry of the Confederation (MPC) in Bern for questioning early Tuesday by prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand. Platini, the former head of European football, had been questioned the day before.

The investigation, which was set up in 2015, is probing the payment Platini received from Fifa in 2011 for an advisory job completed in 2002, on suspicion of "complicity in unfair management, embezzlement and forgery".

Blatter said he was "happy" to be able to answer questions on the dossier.

Platini said in June that the Swiss Attorney General's office had "confirmed in writing in May 2018" that his case was closed but the 65-year-old French football great now has the status of "accused" alongside Blatter.

Blatter, who served as Fifa president from 1998 to 2015, has always maintained the payment was above board, describing it as "back pay" for work done by Michel Platini. "The sum was validated by the finance commission. It cannot be a criminal offence," Blatter said.

But Fifa, the world governing body, deemed the sum a "disloyal payment" and suspended Blatter and Platini from all football-related activities, which prevented the former Uefa chief from running for another term as president in 2016.

The payment was received just months after Qatar was awarded the World Cup 2022 amid allegations of bribery and corruption.

Two other former FIFA executives, Frenchman Jerome Valcke, the former secretary-general, and German Markus Kattner, the former financial director, are being investigated on "suspicion of unfair management", the OAG has said.

Kattner will be questioned on September 4.

Updated: September 1, 2020 03:19 PM

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