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Sepp Blatter: FIFA’s 2 million Swiss francs payment to Platini was legal

December 15, 2015, 21:31 UTC+3
It was based on a verbal agreement and its legality had been confirmed by FIFA Congress, temporarily suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter says
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Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini

© EPA/PATRICK B. KRAEMER

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. A payment of 2 million Swiss francs made by FIFA to UEFA then-President Michel Platini was legal as "it was based on a verbal agreement" and its legality had been confirmed by FIFA Congress, temporarily suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in his letter addressed to members of FIFA.

In September, Blatter and Platini were suspended from their posts as part of the investigation into corruption allegations against them. Among a number of corruption allegations, Blatter is suspected of a disloyal payment of 2 million Swiss francs to UEFA President Platini in February 2011.

"In my current case, the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee must pass judgment on the legality of the bill for two million Swiss francs — stemming from the 1998 agreement between FIFA and Michel Platini — and whose payment (of the remaining amount) was only requested in 2010/2011," Blatter said in his letter.

"I can assure you that: it was legal because it was based on a verbal agreement," Blatter said. "And agreements must be adhered to. This payment was put through the full administrative process, the correctness of which was confirmed by all competent FIFA bodies — including the Congress."

"However, the way in which the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee has communicated on the current proceedings, demanded the maximum penalty and reinforced public prejudgement has reached a tendentious and dangerous dimension," he said. "These proceedings remind me of the Inquisition."

Blatter said he served for FIFA for 40 years and was employed as the president of the global governing body of football since 1998 and all the time he worked honestly living by the two values, which are "never accept any money which you have not earned" and "always pay off your debts."

"I will continue to fight for my rights — and at the end of this week, I will present my case before the adjudicatory chamber with great conviction and a strong belief in justice," Blatter said.

While both Blatter and Platini are temporarily suspended, Angel Maria Villar Llona is the acting president of UEFA and Issa Hayatou is the acting president of FIFA.

Sepp Blatter, 79, was reelected for his fifth consecutive four-year presidential term on May 29, when his only rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan pulled out after the first round of vote.

However, addressing a news conference in Zurich on June 2, Blatter said he decided to lay down his mandate at FIFA extraordinary elective Congress. FIFA announced in July that the election of the new president would be held next year on February 26.

An unprecedented corruption scandal flared up in FIFA in the morning of May 27, one day before the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, as seven of the organization’s high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges. The scandal involves two separate criminal proceedings.

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