Swiss prosecutors charged former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA president Michel Platini with fraud and other offenses on Tuesday, following a six-year probe into a disputed $2 million (£1.4 million) payment.

Sepp Blatter (left) and Michel Platini (right) Picture credit: Getty Images

Blatter, 85, and Platini, 65, will be tried in federal criminal court in Bellinzona, Switzerland, in the coming months.

In a statement, Swiss federal authorities said the payment “damaged FIFA’s assets” and “illegally enriched Platini.”

The case, which began in September 2015, resulted in Blatter’s resignation from FIFA ahead of schedule, as well as the demise of then-UEFA President Michel Platini’s bid to succeed his old mentor.

Cases in Switzerland might take years to resolve.

The dispute revolves around Platini’s written request to FIFA in January 2011 to be paid a backdated additional salary for acting as a presidential adviser during Blatter’s first term, from 1998 to 2002. Blatter authorized FIFA to pay the backdated additional salary within weeks. He was prepared to run for re-election in a race against Qatar’s Mohamed bin Hammam, in which Platini’s clout among European voters was crucial.

Blatter has been charged with fraud, mismanagement, misappropriation of FIFA funds, and forgery of a document. Platini has been charged with fraud, mismanagement, misappropriation of FIFA funds, and fabrication of a document.

Platini has been accused of forgery, fraud, and being an accomplice to Blatter’s alleged mismanagement.

Platini, a French football hero, was not formally investigated until last year, and the more serious charge of fraud was added against both individuals months later.

Prosecutors filed criminal charges against Blatter in September 2015, ahead of a police raid at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on the day he and Platini attended an executive committee meeting.


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