PARIS: Michel Platini, suspended president of European federation UEFA, has submitted an appeal against the verdict of the FIFA ethics committee with the appeals committee of world governing body writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
He was buoyed by a statement of support from CONMEBOL though the value of backing from a South American confederation whose recent leaders have been up to their ears in corruption allegations may not be judged helpful.
Last Wednesday for the former captain and manager of France was suspended for 90 days pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations that he accepted a ‘disloyal payment’ from FIFA which had been authorised by its president, Sepp Blatter.
Platini had reacted to his suspensions with statements which verged on paranoia over perceived leaks and plots against him. In neither statement did he address with substantive issue, bar insisting on his innocence.
On September 25 the Office of the Swiss Attorney General opened a criminal investigation into Blatter with Platini indicated as being “between a witness and an accused person.”
CONMEBOL called Platini’s suspension “disproportionate and untimely.”
CONMEBOL, in its own statement issued on Saturday, said: “The South American Football Confederation does not agree with the decision to provisionally ban FIFA presidential candidate Michel Platini from all football activity.
“In these difficult times, which demand a full-scale reform of FIFA, CONMEBOL firmly believes in Mr Platini’s capacity to lead FIFA and direct the world of football towards a brighter future.
“Mr Platini has not been found guilty of any accusation and his provisional suspension puts at risk the integrity of the electoral process for the presidency of FIFA.”
Nicolas Leoz, long-serving former president of CONMEBOL, is contesting an application from the United States Department of Justice to extradite him from Paraguay to face corruption, bribery and money-laundering charges in the ongoing FIFAGate investigation.
Also Eugenio Figueredo, his CONMEBOL presidential successor, is contesting an extradition order approved by the authorities in Switzerland where he was arrested on May 27.
CONMEBOL’s treasurer Carlos Chavez, who is also president of the Bolivian federation, is being held in prison in Santa Cruz on fraud and other corruption charges.
Platini had been favourite to succeed Blatter at a president election next February 26. FIFA will hold an emergency executive committee meeting on October 20 at which the possibility of postponing the election will be discussed.