PARIS: Michel Platini and his lawyers have welcomed the police raid on the French football federation in pursuit of evidence concerning the notorious “disloyal payment” from Sepp Blatter back in February 2011 writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
French agents searched the FFF headquarters on Tuesday at the request of the Office of the Swiss Attorney-General.
Blatter, disgraced and banned ex-president of world federation FIFA, is under criminal investigation in Switzerland for the payment which he authorised to Platini, suspended head of European governing body UEFA.
Platini is considered as “between accused and witness” by the Swiss authorities, a status which looms over his forthcoming attempt to clear his name at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
A statement from Platini’s lawyers said: “We welcome this new step because as soon as the Swiss judiciary has completed its inquiry Michel Platini’s involvement will no longer figure within the news agenda where it has no place.”
The French federation confirmed “making available” various documents concerning Platini’s work for FIFA between 1998 and 2002. At the time he was commissioned as ‘football counsellor’ to Blatter who had just been elected to the FIFA presidency in succession to Joao Havelange.
Subsquently Platini became a member of the UEFA and FIFA executive committees before ousting Lennart Johansson as European president in 2007.
Blatter, who is 80 today, was not as happy about the raid as Platini purported to be.
He said: “I am very surprised by this for the simple reason that the SFr2m which FIFA paid Michel Platini in line with a verbal contract between the two of us was not paid by the FFF or UEFA but into a private account of Michel Platini in a Swiss bank.”