Swiss prosecutors order Platini, Blatter to stand trial over payment

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Swiss prosecution services have ordered former French football star and ex-president of UEFA, Michel Platini, and former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, to stand trial over an allegedly fraudulent 1.8-million-euro payment made to Platini by the latter in 2011, a move that has yet to be approved by a federal court.

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Former Fifa officials Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have been charged with fraud and other offences in Switzerland, reports BBC News.

Swiss prosecutors say Mr Blatter unlawfully arranged a transfer of two million Swiss francs ($2.19m; £1.6m) to Mr Platini in 2011.

Prosecutors say the payment "damaged Fifa's assets and unlawfully enriched Platini".

Mr Blatter and Mr Platini now face trial at a court in Bellinzona.

The case was opened in September 2015 after Fifa, football's world governing body, was dogged by accusations of widespread corruption.

Fifa's ethics committee launched an investigation, which saw both men banned from the game and forced to leave their positions.

The affair ended Mr Blatter's 17-year spell in charge of Fifa and then-Uefa president Mr Platini's campaign to succeed his former mentor.

Both Mr Blatter, 85, and Mr Platini, 66, have denied any wrongdoing.

The Swiss case centres on a request for payment for advisory work Mr Platini did for the then-Fifa president Mr Blatter between 1998 and 2002.

Prosecutors said Mr Platini demanded the payment "over eight years after the termination of his advisory activity". "With Blatter's involvement, Fifa made a payment to Platini in said amount at the beginning of 2011," the prosecutors said.

They said Mr Blatter and Mr Plantini have both been accused of fraud, misappropriation, criminal mismanagement and forgery of a document.

See more of this report, with video, from BBC News.

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