Thursday 19 September 2019

Platini vows to return to football after Swiss justice move

No criminal case was ever opened against Mr Platini.

Michel Platini (John Walton/PA)
Michel Platini (John Walton/PA)

By Richard Halifax

Banned ex-Uefa president Michel Platini says he is planning to return to football after Swiss federal prosecutors confirmed he was not being charged in an investigation into possible financial wrongdoing.

Mr Platini, 62, said in a statement it is “the end of a long nightmare for my family and those close to me”.

Since September 2015, the former France midfielder had the status of “between a witness and an accused person” in criminal proceedings opened against then-Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

No criminal case was ever opened against Mr Platini.

Ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter

The evidence related to Blatter authorising Fifa to pay Mr Platini $2 million (£1.5 million) in uncontracted back salary in 2011.

Fifa’s ethics committee also investigated Mr Platini’s request to Fifa for pension contributions he was not entitled to.

It was agreed by Blatter and added more than $1 million (£750,000) to Mr Platini’s retirement fund.

Mr Platini was eventually banned for four years, until October 2019.

Both he and Blatter denied wrongdoing, but Court of Arbitration for Sport judges refused to overturn his ban and that of Blatter.

The case meant Mr Platini was removed from the Uefa presidency and he was barred from trying to succeed Blatter as Fifa president in 2016.

Mr Platini, a former France captain and coach, said: “I will come back: where, when, how? It’s too early to say. But I will come back into football.

“Because football is my life and I deny anyone the right to deprive me of my life.”

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