GENEVA: European federation UEFA will hold an emergency meeting of its executive committee and of all its member nations next Thursday to discuss the worldwide suspension of president Michel Platini writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Platini, along with FIFA presdent Sepp Blatter, has been barred from all national and international involvement by the world federation ethics committee in connection with investigations being run by the Swiss attorney-general.
A statement from UEFA said that it expected Platini would appeal against the suspension and hence it would not be appointing an interim president.
Wolfgang Niersbach, president of the German federation and a member of the executive committees of both UEFA and FIFA, described the suspension as “a heavy setback” for Platini in his bid to win the leadership of the world federation.
Niersbach said he believed that Platini would have had no problem winning the election. He said: “Two weeks ago everything was clear. He had more than 100 supporters, including the DFB. But this is a heavy setback for him. Now we must consider the new situation.”
The dual suspensions of Platini and Blatter were described by Niersbach as “the absolute worst-case scenario for the governing body of world football. This is the lowest point possible.”
Frenchman Platini has been UEFA’s ‘dream candidate’ and favourite to succeed disgraced Blatter at the head of world governing body FIFA next February 26. However his candidacy prospects now hang by a thread.
Platini moved fast earlier this week to submit his five nominations ahead of both the October 26 deadline and his own suspension.
His credibility has been undermined by the investigation hanging over him, partly due to his failure to come up with an adequate explanation of why he waited until 2011 for a payment of 2m SwFr from FIFA for work completed nine years earlier.
Niersbach, England’s David Gill and the United States’ Sunil Gulati are members of the executive committee of FIFA who also want an emergency meeting of that body as soon as possible.