FIFA CRISIS: Platini Angry At ‘Shameful’ Ban

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Agency Report

Michel Platini still wants to succeed Sepp Blatter as Fifa president, despite serving a 90-day ban while corruption claims are investigated.

Uefa boss Platini is suspended as Fifa studies reports he received a £1.35m payment from Blatter in 2011.

The 60-year-old told French newspaper Le Monde he had done nothing wrong and “certainly still wants to” stand in the Fifa presidential election in February.

“It’s shameful to be dragged through the mud like this,” said Platini.

“I have been suspended for three months, but what annoys me the most is being tarred with the same brush as the others.

“My lawyers are following the Fifa proceedings and will take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if needs be.”

In June, Blatter announced he would leave his position at the head of world football, though he is also serving a 90-day ban, but also denies any wrongdoing.

Platini, who has been president of European football’s Uefa since 2007, was tipped to replace the 79-year-old Swiss and still believes he will have enough support to do so.

“I don’t think I have lost many votes with these scandals,” he added.

“People who know me know that I can look myself in the mirror.

“I don’t like to lose. Especially not on the basis of a scandal that isn’t one.”

Fifa’s ethics committee is looking into the circumstances of a payment of 2m Swiss francs Platini received in 2011 for work said to have been carried out more than nine years previously.

Platini claims Blatter asked to see him before the 1998 World Cup in France and wanted the Frenchman to become Fifa president, with Blatter taking over as general secretary.

“I wasn’t interested,” said Platini.

“I was focused on the World Cup and didn’t see myself as president.”

He says the pair met again two months later, with Blatter asking Platini to become his football adviser and enquiring how much money he wanted.

Platini added: “I said ‘a million’. ‘A million what?’ ‘Whatever you want: roubles, pounds, dollars.’ He said, ‘OK, 1m Swiss francs a year.’ Incredible though it may sound, that’s what happened.”

‘It was a gentleman’s agreement – I trusted him’

Platini worked for Blatter from 1998 to 2002 “reforming the international match calendar” and on “the Goal Programme – a Fifa assistance and support scheme for the poorest associations”.

“It’s never been about money for me,” said Platini. “I was an unpaid chairman of the World Cup organising committee.

“Before that, I turned down the opportunity to go to Real Madrid even though they had handed me a cheque and told me to add as many zeros as I liked.

“When I said to Blatter ‘a million of whatever you want’, I was leaving it up to him to decide how much he wanted to give me.”

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However, a formal contract for the full pay was never signed.

“I haven’t had a lawyer or agent to negotiate for me for a long time,” added Platini.

“It was a gentleman’s agreement. He was going to be president of Fifa. I trusted him. I’ve since learned that under Swiss law, an oral contract is as valid as a written one.”

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