KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- Monday was the turn of Michel Platini, Tuesday was the turn of Sepp Blatter.
The two central figures one of the string of FIFA scandals – the small matter of the $2m “disloyalty payment” – were interviewed by examining prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand in Bern.
This particular case may now appear to be ancient history but it has a direct bearing on winds currently swirling around the Home of FIFA up above Zurich because both Platini, the former president of European federation UEFA, and Blatter, the ex-supremo of the world governing body, believe they were set up by political rivals.
The revelation of the payment by FIFA to Platini on Blatter’s authority led directly to the two men being suspended by the FIFA ethics committee in the autumn of 2015.
Platini had been favourite to succeed Blatter at FIFA. In the event the presidency was won by Gianni Infantino, who had been Platini’s general secretary at UEFA.
Platini was being interviewed by Hildbrand as a suspect in the case of the payment which, the Frenchman claims, was for work he had undertaken for between 1999 and 2001.
FIFA legal tangles
The wheels of Swiss justice grind very slowly, if at all. bearing in mind that this case has been sitting around for five years.
Infantino must wish that the Platini/Blatter case would draw a line under FIFA’s legal headaches. This is far from the case.
The 50-year-old lawyer is himself the focus of criminal investigation over a number of unrecorded meetings he held with the just-departed Attorney-General Michael Lauber.
Infantino was re-elected as FIFA president by acclamation last year yet there has been speculation that he might engineer a ‘vote of confidence’ in himself at congress later this month.
If so, that would admit to the world – never mind the world of football – that he is more than seriously worried about the latest turn of events.
Platini/Blatter would be a sideshow by comparison.