Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA president Michel Platini were both acquitted of fraud and corruption charges in a Switzerland court on Friday, according to Reuters.
The case centered around a payment of 2 million Swiss francs (then worth about $2.26 million) made to Platini in 2011. While Blatter and Platini insisted it was payment for previously agreed upon consulting work, prosecutors alleged it was fraudulent and made for personal interests. In 2015, the Swiss attorney general opened an investigation on “suspicion of misappropriation” of FIFA funds.
Both Blatter and Platini resigned in 2015 amid the scandal and were banned from international soccer for eight years, although both bans were later reduced to six years.
On Friday, a judge said the pair’s assertion that there was an agreement for consulting work was credible. The judge also raised serious doubts about the prosecutions claims that it was fraudulent.
“I have always said my conscience is clear,” Blatter told reporters, via Reuters. “Naturally nobody’s perfect, but in the case of my job, my work, 44 years working at FIFA, for me it is so important that this case has been settled at the highest Swiss level.”
Blatter, 86, served as the FIFA president from 1998 to 2015. Platini, 67, was a French soccer star who won the Ballon d’Or three straight years between 1983 and 1985. He became the UEFA president in 2007.