FIFA changes its mind and finally accepts the appeal of the Swiss public prosecutor’s office

Michel Platini, on June 8, 2022, in Bellinzona (Switzerland).

Two days before the start of the World Cup in Qatar, is this a muted coaster or a subtle legal strategy? According to information from World, the International Football Federation (FIFA), civil party in the case of the alleged unfair payment of two million Swiss francs (approximately 1.5 million euros at the exchange rate at the time) received by Michel Platini from Sepp Blatter in 2011 filed a declaration of“joined call”, the 11th of November. FIFA thus joins the appeal made in this case, mid-October, by the public prosecutor of the Swiss Confederation (MPC) after the acquittal, on July 8, by the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (TPF) in Bellinzona, of the former president of FIFA and ex-player, also former boss of the Union of European Associations (UEFA).

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Blatter-Platini case: the public prosecutor appeals, a new trial on the horizon

On October 19, FIFA led by Gianni Infantino announced that it would not imitate the MPC and would not appeal the acquittal of the two former leaders, in particular for “fraud”. How does FIFA explain this reversal when, wanting to be returned 2.229 million Swiss francs “hijacked by the defendants”, she hadn’t won her case at the end of the Bellinzona trial?

Contacted, Catherine Hohl-Chirazi, FIFA’s lawyer, indicates that this joint appeal aims “to preserve FIFA’s civil claims”. Asked, the entourage of Michel Platini did not wish to react. No more than Sepp Blatter.

The TPF explains that “the party making a joint appeal has the same status as the party making the main appeal [le MPC dans ce cas]. The difference is that if the main call drops, the joined call also drops. Otherwise, there is no difference. All parties have the same status in hearing and will be able to plead. »

According to our information, in its statement of joint appeal, FIFA contests the judgment of July 8 and requests a “conviction” defendants. In addition to the restitution of the sum of 2.229 million Swiss francs, it claims payment, by MM. Blatter and Platini, of 429,319.50 Swiss francs (436,481 euros) for attorneys’ fees paid by the court in connection with this procedure, as well as attorneys’ fees for the appeal proceedings. FIFA also calls for the establishment of a “Confederation compensatory claim” of 2.23 million Swiss francs.

A sensitive file for Gianni Infantino

The International Football Federation had justified in a press release, on October 19, its desire not to participate in a second trial: “We confirm that FIFA does not intend to contest the aforementioned judgement. We now leave it to the Swiss authorities to pursue this matter (…). At this stage, however, FIFA sees no point in continuing to participate in this exercise before the Swiss criminal courts. »

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