“Your honor, I don’t want to answer the questions from FIFA.” It ended with this great refusal the deposition in the courtroom of Joseph Blatter and Michel Platini, in the second hearing of the trial held at the Federal Criminal Court of Bellinzona. There is a question of unfaithful administration in relation to that advice from 2 million Swiss francs that the Swiss colonel, then FIFA president, he paid in 2011 to the Frenchman who was UEFA president at that time.
According to the indictment that payment is illegal. The two defendants instead argue that everything was regular and due, therefore there would not even have been any reason to instruct this trial. The two former friends who over time became adversaries and finally both found themselves in the mud, had to team up in spite of themselves. Because the salvation of one depends on that of the other. But beyond the conveniences dictated by the procedural position, there is a reason that makes them sincerely agree: the declared enmity towards Gianni Infantino, the current president of FIFA. That the misfortunes of both have seen the way to the top of world football smoothed out in an unexpected way. For this reason Blatter and Platini refused to answer the questions of Catherine Hohl-Chirazi, the Geneva lawyer of FIFA present at the hearing.
“I don’t answer Fifa’s questions because FIFA hasn’t answered my questions since 2016” Blatter said. For his part, Platini went down even harder: “I’m not responding to an organization whose boss is under investigation.” The former FIFA president refers to the secret meetings Infantino had with former Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber, which cost the judge his seat. And that partly occurred before Platini was overwhelmed by the mud, which raises more than a suspicion to the former French champion. As for the contents of the depositions, the two reiterated their version of the facts: there would have been nothing illegal in that payment. With some argumentative weaknesses, such as that passage in which Blatter argued that the consultations to Platini are the result of an ‘oral contract’. The process will continue in the coming days. And in the background remains the figure of Infantino. That in this trial in which the two defendants frame him as a common enemy he risks spending a terrible quarter of an hour.
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