LAUSANNE: Michel Platini will find out later this week how the wind is blowing in his bid to clear his name of misconduct allegations and stand for president of world football federation FIFA writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The French president of European governing body UEFA has been ‘invited’ to attend a hearing of the Court of Arbitration for Sport tomorrow/Tuesday which will study his appeal against a 90-day provisional suspension imposed by the FIFA ethics committee in October.
Platini was suspended from football over allegations that he accepted a ‘disloyal payment’ of SFr2m from FIFA, authorised by Sepp Blatter, in February 2011. The payment issue had been discovered by Swiss police who placed Blatter under criminal investigation and assessed Platini at a status somewhere between witness and accused.
The payment, according to Platini, was for work he had undertaken for FIFA at Blatter’s behest between 1999 and 2002. Platini claimed he had not demanded payment at the time because of FIFA’s financial problems.
Blatter has said that the money had been due to Platini on the basis of a ‘verbal contract’. However, by the long-delayed time Platini claimed the payment, the five-year deadline for honouring the debt had elapsed.
The waters were further muddied at the weekend when – with timing which was clearly not accidental – a French newspaper claimed to have seen a 1998 UEFA document referring to the payment agreement.
Both Blatter and Platini have denied wrongdoing and have been notified that the ethics committee will hear their final submission before passing judgment later next week.