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FIFA CORRUPTION SCANDAL

PLATINI

France’s Platini to stand for Fifa presidency

UPDATED: Uefa boss Michel Platini is to stand as a candidate for the presidency of world football's governing body, Fifa, Uefa announced on Wednesday.

France's Platini to stand for Fifa presidency
Will Michel Platini replace Sepp Blatter as the head of Fifa? Photo: AFP
The announcement ends weeks of speculation over whether the 60-year-old Frenchman would stand in the election to find a successor to the beleaguered Sepp Blatter on February 26th next year.
   
Blatter announced his resignation shortly after being re-elected as president in June with scandal-hit Fifa's reputation in tatters.

Platini had positioned himself as one of the most outspoken opponents to Blatter's regime, and publicly called for him to stand down after seven Fifa Executive Committee members were arrested on corruption allegations in raids in Switzerland prior to May's election.

Blatter ignored those calls and was duly elected for a fifth term as president, only to announce his intention to stand down on June 2 as world football's governing body became mired in scandal.

Platini, a former Juventus and France star, eventually decided not to run in May's election, having apparently seriously considered doing so at one point.


(Photo: AFP)

None of those who have so far come forward appear as credible a candidate as Platini, who has been in charge of Uefa since 2007.

Former Brazil star Zico lacks any experience of international football administration while Liberian FA chief Musa Bility is unknown outside of Africa and Diego Maradona, who has declared an interest in standing, is unlikely to be a serious contender.

Jordanian Prince Ali, who took on Blatter in May's vote, got much of his support from Uefa members and so would be likely to give his backing to Platini rather than stand against him.

Candidates have until October 26th — exactly four months before the vote — to come forward. They must have the confirmed backing of at least five of Fifa's 209 member nations, and be cleared by the world governing body's ethics committee, to be able to stand.

Platini has made increasing calls for reform of the world body in recent months. These have been heightened since US authorities charged 14 people — including the seven Fifa officials arrested in Zurich — with corruption.

 

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FIFA

French football’s HQ raided as part of probe into Blatter

The headquarters of France's football chiefs was raided as part of the ongoing probe into corruption at FIFA and the criminal investigation targeting Sepp Blatter.

French football's HQ raided as part of probe into Blatter
Photo: AFP

French authorities have searched the Paris offices of the French Football Federation in connection with Switzerland's criminal investigation targeting former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the Swiss attorney general said Wednesday.

Documents in connection with Blatter's infamous 2.0 million Swiss franc ($2.0 million, 1.8 million euros) payment to the fallen UEFA president Michel Platini “were seized” in the search carried out on Tuesday, Switzerland's top prosecutor said in a statement.

The statement said it asked France for cooperation in the investigation on January 14th.

“Pursuant to that request… and in close coordination with the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG), the French Financial Prosecution Office proceeded yesterday to a search of the offices of the French Football Federation (FFF) in Paris,” the statement said.

It added that the search was “in connection with the criminal proceedings against Mr. Joseph Blatter.”

Switzerland opened an investigation against Blatter in September for alleged criminal mismanagement during his tenure as FIFA's president.

It also suspected Blatter of making a payment that was “disloyal” to FIFA.

That payment was the 2.0 million Swiss francs Blatter authorised to Platini in 2011, reportedly for consulting work the Frenchman performed a decade earlier.

Doubts surrounding that payment led FIFA's ethics judges to ban both Blatter and Platini from football for six years.

In the Swiss case, Platini has been questioned in a status that falls between a witness and an accused.

“Mr. Michel Platini's status in the proceedings has remained unchanged,” the OAG statement said.

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