The Swiss Supreme Court dismissed on June 29, 2017, a complaint by Michel Platini against a decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne. The Swiss Supreme Court thereby confirmed the CAS-decision by which Mr. Platini had been banned from all soccer-related activities at national and international levels for four years - amongst others on the account of accepting of undue benefits (some softer form of bribery).
Before, the Ethics Committee of FIFA had issued a ban against Mr. Platini for eight years in December 2015. In addition, the Ethics Committee imposed a fine of CHF 80,000. The FIFA Appeals Committee then reduced this ban in 2016 to six years. Mr. Platini was accused of a violation of Art. 20 of the FIFA Ethics Regulations, i.e. acceptance and granting of gifts and other benefits, because he had received from FIFA a certain payment of CHF 2 million which payment authorized by Mr. Blatter.
Mr. Platinis's assertion that the payment was based on an oral agreement with Mr. Blatter based on his existing written employment contract with FIFA of 1999 was not considered convincing. Mr. Platini was also charged with having obtained higher future pension benefits than contractually agreeed upon. In addition, an infringement of Art. 19 of the FIFA Ethics Regulations, violation of interest conflicts, was also established. The CAS in Lausanne confirmed the decision of the FIFA Appeals Committee on the main accounts, whilst it reduced the professional ban to four years and the fines to CHF 60'000.
The Swiss Supreme Court now dismissed the appeal by Mr. Platini against the CAS-decision. In doing so, the Swiss Supreme Court could only examine whether the contested arbitration award was arbitrary based on manifestly wrong factual findings or a blatant violation of the laws. In applying these arbitrary tests, the CAS-decision was not objectionable, according to the Swiss Supreme Court. It further held that a more extensive interpretation of above Art. 20 of FIFA Ethics Regulations also covers the granting of gifts and other benefits shared between two FIFA-officials. The CAS was also correct when it had qualified the increase in pension plan benefits and the payment of above CHF 2 million as a violation of said Article 20. The four year professional ban did not either constitute an obvious infringement of the law and therefore stood the arbitrary test by the Swiss Supreme Court.
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