KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS —- Allan Hansen, former chairman of the Danish football federation, may be ready to step out of line with his senior UEFA colleagues over the future of Michel Platini at Thursday’s emergency meeting of the European federation’s executive committee.
The 66-year-old career policeman, who led the DBU for 12 years from 2002 to 2014, had long been a supporter of Platini. But now he has indicated that everything has changed.
It had been expected that the exco would give a benefit of the doubt to its French president after his 90-day suspension last week by the ethics committee of world governing body FIFA. Hence he has refused to concede even the appointment of an interim president.
Ongoing support from the UEFA exco this week would buy time while Platini awaits a verdict, possibly on Friday, in response to his appeal to the FIFA appeals committee.
Time is crucial for Platini who had been favourite to succeed beleaguered Sepp Blatter as FIFA president next February 26. He would still have the option of going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to apply for the suspension to be lifted pending a full hearing.
Otherwise, if Platini were still under suspension by the nominations deadline on October 26, he would be debarred from standing.
His troubles arise from his acceptance of what the Swiss police have deemed a ‘disloyal payment’ of sFr2m from Blatter and FIFA purportedly due on a ‘verbal contract’ for work completed nine years earlier.
Platini has been unable to provide a plausible explanation for the manner of the payment to the concern of colleagues at the highest levels of both FIFA and UEFA.
Hansen has now become the first senior UEFA director to express serious doubts about whether Platini’s presidency can even survive this week.
Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet quoted Hansen, a member of the UEFA exco, as saying: “I was deeply disappointed when the story of the two million francs appeared. It raises many questions to which we have still not received a reply. I hope we will have one on Thursday.
“Such a payment requires there to have been a contract and must also appear in FIFA’s own accounts.”
Asked for his view should his conditions not be fulfilled, Hansen said: “In that case we can no longer support him.”
Hansen is a member of FIFA’s audit committee and insisted he had no knowledge of such a payment. He also believed that the committee would have been alerted to such a suspect arrangement by KPMG, FIFA’s auditor.
Jesper Moller, current president of the DBU, is right behind Hansen.
He said: “I am deeply skeptical about what is going on – and I will continue to be so, even if we get a good explanation on Thursday. The nature of the amount alone tells us that something is wrong.
“It is also self-evident that we can not vote for a man who has been suspended.”
Platini’s suspension means he will not be able to attend the UEFA exco meeting in Nyon, near Geneva, but he and his lawyers are expected to submit a detailed and defiant statement protesting his innocence of any possible charges and his determination to clear his name.
The former captain and manager of France believes he has been the victim of a concerted campaign to wreck his FIFA power bid.
Last week UEFA’s executive committee issued what was described as a unanimous expression of support for Platini though sources close to some of its members have suggested unanimity was not easily achieved.
Germany, England and Scotland are associations which have all appended cautionary notes to their earlier enthusiastic support for Platini’s bid to become FIFA president.
The UEFA exco’s opinion and the appeal decision will be central to subsequent deliberations next Tuesday of FIFA’s own executive committee.