For a few weeks, Bellinzona will knock on the pawn in Locarno and catch the spotlight. Two stars of a particular kind will sit on the benches of the Federal Criminal Court from Wednesday. Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter, the two most powerful leaders in world football from 1998 to 2015, have been charged with fraud and forgery of their titles for a 2 million franc payment made in 2011 by FIFA on Blatter’s orders. a claim claimed by Platini after eight years of reflection.
They are presumed innocent, and for FIFA connoisseurs at the time, it is quite possible that this money was well matched by the remuneration of a consultant service performed by Platini and negotiated with Blatter, but without common measure with the service actually provided. and in utter disregard for internal proceedings. That was the custom, then.
An inevitable crisis
This case is emblematic of a FIFA that had already become a big money-making machine but had retained the small legal structures of a volunteer association. It was the realm of negotiated amounts on a table corner, settlements with no accounting records, when it wasn’t directly in cash, not to mention bribes.
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Just as the professionalization of structures led (almost) all Swiss football clubs to bankruptcy at the turn of the 2000s, a painful crisis of growth was inevitable. She took Michel Platini, who would no doubt have made a great boss in world football, and Sepp Blatter, whom some today regret so much that his successor surpasses him in cynicism and electoral calculations.
The “new FIFA”, which has filed a complaint, is following the trial on the victims’ side. She pretends that what was going to be unpacked at the Bellinzona hearings is no longer relevant to her, but she is still a little worried that her troubled relationship with the MPC during the investigations into the various “FIFAgate” cases will take a little too long. the light.
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However, it remains undermined by numerous scandals, still struggling to complete its investigations, has never questioned the allocation of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, has only been resolved and forced by NGOs. to demand improvements in the working conditions of workers on its construction sites. World Cup money continues to plague countries without discerning or seriously controlling its use, the only concrete effect of which is to secure a vote. Nothing has changed in that regard.