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FIFA files claim against Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini over $2m fee

FIFA has filed claims to the Swiss authorities against Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini over a fee of CHF 2 million ($2.04m), world football's governing body has announced. 

The amount relates to a fee paid by Blatter to Platini in February 2011, shortly before the then UEFA president decided not to stand against Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Blatter and Platini claimed the payment was made as part of an oral agreement, from Platini's time working at FIFA, which had ended in 2002. FIFA's ethics committee rejected the claims and ruled the payment was unlawful, according to its ethics code.

"FIFA has today filed claims in the relevant Swiss courts against former FIFA President Joseph Blatter and former FIFA Vice-President Michel Platini, seeking restitution of the CHF 2 million unduly paid to Mr Platini back in February 2011," a FIFA statement read.

"This follows the unanimous resolution recently adopted by the FIFA Governance Committee in which it emphasised that FIFA was duty-bound to try to recover the funds illicitly paid by one former official to another. Even the Swiss Federal Supreme Court has confirmed that this CHF 2 million gift was to be viewed as an 'undue payment.'

"If and when successfully recovered, these funds [together with interest] will be fully channelled back into football development, which is where the money should have gone in the first place."

Any claim for the return of the money expires under Swiss law at the end of December.

The Swiss Attorney General announced it had opened criminal proceedings against Blatter on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation in September 2015. 

Blatter and Platini were subsequently banned from football for eight years as a corruption scandal that rocked the world of football was uncovered. The punishment was reduced to six and four years respectively on appeal.

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