Monday 26 September 2016

Platini vows to tell 'only the truth' as he appeals his 90-day FIFA ban

Graham Dunbar in Geneva

Published 09/12/2015 | 02:30

UEFA President Michel Platini leaves after a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo: Reuters
UEFA President Michel Platini leaves after a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo: Reuters

Michel Platini arrived at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) yesterday pledging to "tell the truth, only the truth" at his appeal against a 90-day FIFA ban.

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The suspended Uefa president, pictured, wants the CAS to freeze his ban by Friday, allowing him to resume campaigning for the FIFA presidency ahead of the February 26 election.

It would also allow the former France captain to attend the 2016 European Championship draw on Saturday in Paris.

Platini was the clear favourite to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president until they were quizzed by Swiss authorities on September 25 over a $2m payment to the Frenchman from FIFA in 2011.

"My lawyers have done a very good job," Platini said in French after leaving the court building in Lausanne following a two-hour hearing. "You know that I don't like injustices. I hope that I was well heard today."

Platini and Blatter face possible life bans when they appear before the FIFA ethics committee at the governing body's headquarters in Zurich next week. The case centres on the payment and timing of the $2m that Blatter approved for Platini in 2011 as backdated salary. Platini was a presidential adviser to Blatter from 1998-2002.

Both deny wrongdoing, but acknowledge there was only a verbal agreement which they say is valid under Swiss law.

Still, FIFA was not required to pay Platini when more than five years elapsed since the work was completed.

The timing of the payment, which was not disclosed to the FIFA and UEFA executive committees, also raised suspicion.

It came as Blatter was preparing for a presidential election challenge by Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar.

During the campaign, Bin Hammam said he was ready to discuss a power-sharing deal with Platini as a condition of securing European votes.

Irish Independent

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