FIFA on Monday said it had filed court claims in Switzerland to force Michel Platini to return two million Swiss francs ($2 million, 1.84 million euros) he received during Sepp Blatter’s reign at world football’s governing body.
FIFA banned Platini, its then vice president, in 2015 over the payment he received, sparking years of bitter recriminations from the Frenchman and a falling out with his former ally Blatter.
In a document seen by AFP last week, FIFA said it would take legal action by the end of the year “to recover the money illegally paid” by Blatter to Platini.
The organisation confirmed Monday it had launched such proceedings.
“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,” FIFA said in a statement.
“Even the Swiss Federal Supreme Court has confirmed that this 2 million Swiss franc gift was to be viewed as an ‘undue payment’.”
It added: “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.”
Blatter authorised the payment in 2011. The Swiss authorities started investigating in 2015 while FIFA’s ethics investigators branded the payment “disloyal” and banned Platini for six years.
The Frenchman subsequently appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which reduced his suspension to four years while ruling it “was unconvinced as to the legitimacy of the payment, which was only recognised by Mr. Platini and Mr. Blatter.”