PARIS: Michel Platini intends to attend UEFA’s extraordinary congress in Athens next week to say a formal farewell to delegates ahead of the election for a new president of the European federation writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
How he can do this without breaching the terms of his four-year suspension from all football activities is open to question.
If Platini were to be welcomed on to the stage of the extraordinary congress then UEFA’s own executive committee and senior officials would be risking disciplinary action from the ethics committee of world federation FIFA.
A UEFA spokesman said that the 60-year-old Frenchman had been invited personally by the organisation’s first vice-president, Spaniard Angel Maria Villar, who will chair the extraordinary c9ngress.
On the face of it this invitation appears to have been extended in defiance of Platini’s ban from all football imposed by the FIFA ethics committee for financial misconduct.
However UEFA has considered the invitation in the context of a clarification obtained from the FIFA ethics committee before Euro 2016 that Platini could attend the matches as long as “he does not do so in any official function.”
In the event Platini did not attend any matches or linked events.
According to the French daily sports newspaper L’Equipe Platini “will travel to UEFA Congress in Athens on September 14 at the invitation of the executive committee to formally hand over to Congress the duties of his presidency.”
How Platini can do this without appearing to be operating “in an official function” is not certain. It may be that he will meet federation delegates in private but not appear on the congress stage.
Platini announced his resignation on May 9 after the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced his suspension of all activities related to football from six to four years but maintained the verdict of misconduct.
Slovenian federation president Aleksander Ceferin is favourite to become new president. The only other candidate is Dutch federation head Michael Van Praag after the weekend withdrawal of Spain’s Villar.