ZURICH/BERN: Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, disgraced and then banned former presidents of FIFA and UEFA, will be interviewed next week over the long-ago case of the infamous ‘disloyal payment’ which brought about their downfall.

A report to that effect in French daily Le Monde quoted a statement from the office of Swiss federal public prosector Thomas Hildebrand.

Blatter and Platini were heads of the world federation and European governing body when the former approved a long-delayed payment of $2m payment to the Frenchman for work he had undertaken for FIFA nearly a decade earlier.

A criminal investigation was launched in the autumn of 2015 and both men have been interviewed under caution several times since then.

The statement said: “So-called final hearings, in one part of the procedure, are scheduled for March 2021.

“The accused persons are heard one last time before the closure of the investigation and invited to express their views on the results thereof. The implementation of final hearings does not allow conclusions to be drawn about the outcome of the criminal proceedings (classification, criminal order, indictment).

“The proceedings against Blatter are now being conducted on suspicion of fraud, breach of trust and unfair management. The criminal proceedings against Michel Platini are carried out on suspicion of fraud, participation in breach of trust, participation in unfair management (…) and forgery of securities. ”

Both men have repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Platini’s interview is set for┬ánext Monday and Tuesday however Blatter’s hearing, scheduled for the Wednesday and Thursday, has been postponed for medical reasons. He is still recovering from major heart surgery in December.

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