At their trial, Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter seek to prove the existence of a "verbal contract"

At their trial, Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter seek to prove the existence of a “verbal contract”

How to prove an alleged oral agreement in front of the judges? On the third day of their trial for “suspicion of fraud, unfair management, breach of trust and forgery in titles”, Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter tried, on Friday June 10, to convince the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (TPF) of Bellinzona that ‘they had indeed sealed a “verbal contract” under which the former number 10 of the Blues had been promised, in 1998, by the former president of the International Football Federation (FIFA) a remuneration of one million Swiss francs a year as a technical adviser during four years (1998-2002).

The day after their hearing, MM. Blatter and Platini called two witnesses to the bar in order to defend this thesis in the context of the case of the alleged unfair payment of 2 million Swiss francs (1.9 million euros) that the first made to the second, in February 2011. A qualified payment of “wage balance” by the two defendants. This version was swept away by the Swiss prosecutor’s office, convinced that Mr. Platini benefited from a “pecuniary benefit in respect of a debt which did not in fact exist and to which he was not entitled”.

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Former personal adviser to Mr. Blatter at FIFA, the Swiss Flavio Battaini said that the latter had approached Mr. Platini in 1998 in order to involve him in his campaign for the presidential election at FIFA. According to the witness, it was during a “meeting in Monaco, spring 1998” that the negotiations around a political alliance between MM. Blatter and Platini would have stepped up.

” Compensation [de Michel] Platini has been the subject of several discussions. Then Mr. Blatter told me that Mr. Platini wanted a million in compensation per year. I can no longer say if he spoke to me again about this million after the election to FIFA. I have no indication whether an agreement was then made or not verbally or in writing.Mr. Battaini said.

In August 1999, the two defendants signed a consultancy contract setting Mr. Platini’s remuneration at 300,000 Swiss francs a year. According to them, due to “liquidity problems”Mr. Blatter would then have undertaken to pay ” later “ the remaining balance to the French.

“I only remember the amount”

Called to testify by Mr. Platini, the former head of the disciplinary committee of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Peter Limacher, for his part, affirmed that the amount of remuneration that Mr. Blatter would have proposed, in 1998, to the ex-player was at the time at the heart of the ongoing meetings within the European Confederation.

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