The latent conflict between the former president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Michel Platini, and the boss of the International Football Federation (FIFA), Gianni Infantino, has reached a point of no return.
On Tuesday April 5, Mr. Platini said in a press release that he had filed a criminal complaint, on November 17, 2021, with the Paris prosecutor’s office, against Mr. Infantino for “active influence peddling”. Asked, the prosecution confirmed the filing of this complaint.
This announcement comes as the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (TPF) in Bellinzona must schedule the dates of Mr. Platini’s trial for “suspicions of fraud, alternatively of participation in breach of trust, even more alternatively of participation in unfair management, in quality of accomplice, as well as forgery in the titles”.
The former number 10 of the Blues should appear before the TPF in the coming months, in the case of the alleged unfair payment of 2 million Swiss francs (1.9 million euros) made to him, in February 2011, former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter.
The latter should himself be tried for “suspicions of fraud, alternatively breach of trust, even more alternatively unfair management as well as forgery in the titles”.
By filing a complaint against Mr. Infantino, who was his general secretary at UEFA for six years (2009-2015), Mr. Platini intends to light a media counterfire on the political field.
He also wishes to shed light on the conditions under which the Public Prosecutor of the Swiss Confederation (MPC) learned of the existence of this payment before opening criminal proceedings, on September 25, 2015, against Mr. Blatter.
Mr Platini suspects Mr Infantino had an active role in his downfall
The Swiss justice investigation had then sunk the political ambitions of the Frenchman, suspended by the FIFA ethics committee and forced to forfeit in the race to succeed Mr. Blatter. It was ultimately Mr. Infantino who was elected FIFA President in February 2016.
Mr. Platini suspects his ex-number 2 of having had an active role in his fall. Especially since Mr. Infantino has been the subject of criminal proceedings in Switzerland since July 2020 due to three secret meetings (without supporting minutes), in 2016 and 2017, with the former attorney general Swiss, Michael Lauber, then in charge of investigations in connection with FIFA.
The Frenchman is especially interested in another meeting, organized on July 8, 2015. This interview intrigued, in 2020, the rapporteurs of the Swiss Public Prosecutor’s Supervisory Authority (AS-MPC): it took place between Michael Lauber, his spokesman André Marty and Rinaldo Arnold, childhood friend of Mr. Infantino and first prosecutor of Haut-Valais.
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