The ex-president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, and the ex-president of UEFA, Michel Platini, were acquitted by a Swiss court of corruption.

Criminal proceedings were launched against the pair after a payment of two million Swiss francs (£1.7 million) from FIFA Mr. Platini was exposed in 2015.

86-year-old Blatter at that time headed FIFA – the world football organization, and 67-year-old Platini ran for office UEFAfootball manager of Europe.

Speaking after the verdict, Mr Platini said: “I want to express my happiness for all my loved ones that justice has finally been served after seven years of lies and manipulation.”

He added: “My fight is a fight against injustice. I won the first game.”

Blatter said: “I’m not talking about FIFA, I’m not talking about corruption, I’m talking about myself.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I am pure in consciousness, I am pure in spirit.”

The payment in question was made in 2011 after what the two men described as a “gentleman’s agreement” made in 1998. Prosecutors said this version of events was a “fabrication”.

Platini was claimed to have been paid 300,000 Swiss francs (£118,000 at the time) a year as Fifa’s technical director from 1998 to 2002.

He could not be given more due to financial problems at FIFA, so it was agreed that the rest of the million franc (£400,000) salary would be handed over at a later date.

Blatter approved the transfer of funds from FIFA to Platini during his campaign to be re-elected as head of soccer’s world body in a decade.

Mr Platini was seen to hold power over the European Parliament in competition with Mohammed bin Hammam of Qatar.

Read more:
Blatter received a new six-year ban from football
The former head of FIFA was convicted in the case of bribery

Platini wants to return to football

The US government launched a wide-ranging investigation into bribery, fraud and money laundering at FIFA in 2015, leading to Blatter’s resignation.

Both he and Mr Platini were banned from football for eight years in 2015, but that was later reduced.

Mr Platini said the investigation was a deliberate plot to prevent him from becoming head of FIFA.

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