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Ex-FIFA officials; Blatter & Platini go on trial
sokapro-Ex-FIFA officials; Blatter & Platini go on trial

Former FIFA president, Sepp Blatter and official Michel Platini are going on trial for corruption allegations amongst others during their tenure at the helm of the world football governing body.

Former Federation International of Football Associations (FIFA) officials; Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have gone on trial in Switzerland, where the headquarters of FIFA are located for alleged corruption after more than six years of criminal proceedings. If found guilty, the former officials face up to 5 years in jail but they are more likely to be handed down suspended sentences. Blatter was at the helm of FIFA for 17 years before he resigned in 2015 amid a corruption scandal. A few months later, federal prosecutors in Switzerland opened their investigation into a €1.98 million that FIFA made to Platini in 2011. They argued that the payment was made illegally thus damaging unlawfully enriching Platini and damaging FIFA's assets. The FIFA ethics committee then proceeded to ban both men from football removing a 66-year-old Sepp Blatter from the president and ending Platini's campaign to succeed him. The men have long denied any wrongdoing and insist that the payment made was a result of a verbal agreement they had to pay Platini for his consultancy work between 1998 and 2002. 

The former president, Blatter was seen smiling when he was entering the Federal Criminal Court of Switzerland in Bellinzona on Wednesday and he exuded confidence about his chances of walking out of this case innocent upon being asked by journalists. He is accused of fraud, mismanagement, misappropriation of funds, and forgery of a document while Platini is being charged with fraud, misappropriation, forgery, and as an accomplice to Blatter’s alleged mismanagement. Their lawyers have tried to broaden the case to include corruption allegations meted on current FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, allegations which prosecutors have dismissed to be in any way connected to the case facing Blatter and Platini. The trial will last for two weeks until June 22nd and a verdict is expected to be made on July 8th.