KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS —- Opponents of FIFA president Sepp Blatter should also be demanding the resignation at UEFA of Michel Platini, according to Theo Zwanziger.
The former president of the German federation has been an outspoken critic of the 2022 World Cup hosting ever since he joined the world federation executive five months after the award in December 2010.
In the last few weeks Zwanziger has spoken out ever more loudly against the anti-Blatter campaign being undertaken by Platini’s European federation with its support for the presidential contending trio of Prince Ali, Michael Van Praag and Luis Figo.
Prince Ali is Asia’s FIFA vice-president, Van Praag heads the Dutch federation and Figo is Portugal’s former World Player of the Year.
Zwanziger will leave the FIFA exco in May when his UEFA mandate expires, to be succeeded by Wolfgang Niersbach who effectively ousted him as DFB president.
Hence Zwanziger feels released to speak out ever more abrasively. His latest target is Platini who has made no secret of the fact that he voted for Qatar in December 2010.
That decision sparked unrest and controversy throughout the world federation and the world game culminating in last month’s recommendation to FIFA of a European season-mangling winter World Cup.
Zwanziger, in an internet talkshow interview to be aired next week, said: “This is hypocrisy that I do not like. If you want to criticise the [Qatar World Cup] decision then you also have to criticise the real culprits specifically and not FIFA in general.”
Anyone demanding the departure of Blatter, who is standing for re-election in May, “should also demand the resignation of Platini. Only then can it be genuine, reasonable and justifiable.”
Reiterating his criticism of the Qatar award, Zwanziger added: “The decision weighs down football from top to bottom until the day on which it is either cancelled or actually takes place.”
Shortly before World Cup vote Platini was a guest at a dinner hosted by the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy and attended by the prime minister of Qatar.
Soon afterwards Aljazeera subsidiary BeIN agreed a major French TV football deal and Qatar Sports Ivestments bought control of Paris Saint-Germain before appointing Platini’s lawyer son, Laurent, within the organisation.