Platini made formal suspect in FIFA corruption case

Michel Platini has been formally placed under investigation in Switzerland in relation to a $2m (£1.6m) payment he received from FIFA in 2011.

Swiss federal prosecutors this month extended their open criminal proceedings into then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s role in the payment to include Platini, according to a document seen on Friday by The Associated Press.

Platini, who was the president of UEFA at the time, is suspected of being an accomplice to criminal mismanagement, misappropriation and forgery, the document states.

The former France national team captain submitted invoices to FIFA in January 2011 seeking payment for his time working as a presidential advisor in Blatter’s first term, from 1998 until 2002. He was paid the next month.

Platini and Blatter were both banned by FIFA. Five different courts and tribunals – including the FIFA ethics committee, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the European Court of Human Rights – have ruled against Platini since Swiss prosecutors revealed the allegation in September 2015.

Both Platini and Blatter deny wrongdoing and have not been charged by Swiss prosecutors. The Swiss attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Platini’s four-year ban expired in October and he has been planning to return to the sport. The long-standing allegation was revived two years after Platini said Swiss prosecutors told him he had been cleared of wrongdoing.

However, a new prosecutor was appointed to lead some investigations last year in the wider Swiss probe of corruption allegations in international football that began in 2014.

Prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand’s name appears on official documents relating to Platini’s case that have been seen by The Associated Press.

Hildbrand also extended criminal proceedings against Blatter this month for suspected criminal mismanagement to include a $1m (£800k) loan FIFA made to the Trinidad and Tobago football federation in 2010.

That money went into the control of then-FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who was campaigning in the Caribbean nation’s general election at the time.

Warner has since been banned by FIFA and is fighting extradition to the United States, where he was indicted on financial corruption charges five years ago.

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