FIFA under Gianni Infantino is set to take legal action against former President Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini in a bid to recoup the CHF2 million (£1.5 million/$2 million/€1.8 million) paid to the ex-UEFA head in 2011.
Infantino was General Secretary of UEFA during Platini’s presidency of the confederation. By extension, he was also answerable to FIFA under Sepp Blatter.
Now, he has axe to grind with his former bosses.In a statement, FIFA confirmed it had filed claims in the relevant Swiss courts against the two officials “seeking restitution of the CHF 2 million unduly paid to Mr Platini back in February 2011”.
FIFA’s Governance Committee passed a resolution last month that the organisation should pursue recovering the funds, which have not been repaid.
The payment led to Blatter and Platini being banned from football for eight years, reduced on appeal to six and four years, respectively.
Blatter, who led FIFA for 17 years before he resigned days after being re-elected in May 2015, and Platini – touted as the successor to the Swiss before he was banned – both claim the payment was made under an oral agreement for work the Frenchman carried out for Blatter between 1998 and 2002.
FIFA’s Ethics Committee dismissed this argument and said it was a “gift” or “undue payment”, a ruling upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
In its decision in Platini’s case, the three CAS judges said they were “not convinced by the legitimacy” of the payment.
Former France international Platini, who served as UEFA President from 2007 to 2015, is able to work again in the sport after his ban expired in October.
But the 64-year-old will first have to pay a fine of CHF60,000 (£46,000/$61,000/€55,000) if he is to return to any role in football.
Blatter, who quit as FIFA President amid an unprecedented corruptions scandal at the worldwide body, is still serving his six-year ban, which expires in October 2021.
A criminal investigation into the payment continues, although no charges have yet bee brought by Swiss prosecutors.