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Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini acquitted of fraud

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Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, two of the most powerful men in world football, have been acquitted of fraud allegations by the Swiss Federal Criminal Court.

he verdict on former UEFA President Platini and former FIFA President Sepp Blatter was announced in Bellinzona on Friday.

The two men were charged by prosecutors last November after six years of investigation into a payment of two million Swiss francs (£1.7million) to Platini in 2011. Prosecutors alleged that this payment from FIFA, approved by Blatter, was “made without a legal basis”.

However, both men were acquitted.

“My client’s full acquittal is the only correct outcome of this criminal case,” Platini’s attorney Dominic Nellen said in a statement.

Nellen added: “The court duly assessed the evidence and finally put an end to this untold criminal case.

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

The case, which culminated in the indictments filed in November last year, was launched by prosecutors in 2015, ending Blatter’s FIFA presidency early and Platini, then UEFA’s president, withdrawing from the race to succeed him.

Both faced separate investigations by the FIFA Ethics Committee and were banned from football for eight years, reduced to six years on appeal.

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

“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.

“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.

“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 their gestures, which are so strongly characterized by support and sympathy for me.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/international-soccer/sepp-blatter-and-michel-platini-cleared-of-fraud-41824255.html Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini acquitted of fraud

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