It shouldn’t really be much of a surprise to learn of yet another scandal at FIFA and/or UEFA but with Euro 2016 around the corner, the latest news about Michel Platini is a worrying development
The Ethics Commission of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is applying to have the current president of UEFA Michel Platini banned for life. So says Platini’s lawyer Thibaud d’Alès. The former golden boy of French football is accused of receiving €1,800,000 in 2011 from Joseph (Sepp) Blatter, the disgraced former president of FIFA. It’s alleged that the money was for advisory services carried out in 2002. The judgement will be given on the matter in December.“I regret that this news has been leaked because this procedure was meant to have been carried out in the strictest confidentiality,” said Mr d’Alès, expressing his disappointment that this important piece of information was somehow leaked and made public by the left-wing newspaper(founded by Jean-Paul Sartre) Libération last Tuesday. “This lifetime ban is conditional on the proof of corruption, but the penalty sought is a disproportionate one. There is no evidence to support such an action in the dossier.”
Platini is currently suspended from his UEFA duties pending ongoing investigations until the 5th of January next; a measure which may prevent him from running for the vacant office of FIFA President, which takes place on the 26th of February 2016.
“It’s an absolute scandal,” continued the legal representative of the triple Ballon d’Or winner; a manwhose golden skills brought France their first European Cup in 1984, as well as bringing his club Saint-Étienne to European glory on two occasions. “In making this public, there is clearly a wish to cause damage. The masks at FIFA are slipping one after the other; there is a manipulation of the electoral calendar at work and a strategy to eliminate Mr Platini as a candidate.”
The FIFA Ethics Commission refused to comment on the news. An anonymous source close to FIFA, meanwhile, opined that the publicity surrounding the ongoing investigations of corruption could be a “manoeuvre from the Platini camp to highlight a supposed ‘anti-Platini’ bias at work in the Ethics Commission.”
“I am outraged that this has been leaked,” Thibaud d’Alès said, dismissing the notion of any Machiavellian manoeuvres on his or his client’s part.