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PLATINI

Frenchman Platini lands eight-year football ban

European football chief Michel Platini's fall from grace appeared complete on Monday after he was suspended from all football activities for eight years along with Fifa president Sepp Blatter. Platini immediately announced he would appeal.

Frenchman Platini lands eight-year football ban
Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter share a joke together. Photo: AFP

Platini, the president of European football body Uefa, will not be able to take part in any football-related activity for eight years, after Fifa's ethics committee made its judgement on Monday.

A FIFA ethics tribunal banned Platini, a FIFA vice president and UEFA president, for eight years over a 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million, €1.8 million ) fee from football's world body that was authorised by FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Blatter was also dished out the same sentence.

The judgement has almost certainly ended Platini's chances of taking over from Blatter as president of Fifa and he now risks being cast out of the sport he loves.

Platini said on Monday he will go to sports and civil courts in a bid to overturn an eight year ban ordered by FIFA.

THe Frenchman said in a statement sent to AFP that the FIFA decision was a “masquerade” intended to “sully” his name.

“Parallel to going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, I am determined to apply, at the right time, to civil courts to obtain damages for all the prejudice I have suffered over very long weeks,” Platini said.

“This decision does not surprise me,” Platini said.

“I am convinced that my fate was sealed before the hearing of December 18 and that this verdict is just a pathetic coverup for a desire to eliminate me from the world of football.

“On the football field and in the exercise of my mandates, my behaviour has always been irreproachable and I am at ease with my conscience,” the former star player said.

The former French international has always denied any wrongdoing in accepting a $2 million payment from Fifa in 2011 for consulting work he undertook years earlier.

He recently told AFP that he had nothing to hide and he was “football's medieval knight”.

“I have known for a long time that I would be the target of many unfounded attacks and I am conscious that these attacks will continue until the Fifa elections take place. There is no doubt about my integrity,” Platini said in an interview.

“I have done nothing wrong,” he insisted. 

“In all modesty, I am the best-placed to lead world football,” Platini, 60, told Swiss daily Le Matin in another recent interview.

I feel like I am a medieval knight facing a fortress. I am trying to storm it for football but instead all I get is boiling oil poured on my head.”

The Frenchman, who is also Fifa's vice president, had hopes of succeeding Blatter in the top job and had formally submitted his application to become president on Thursday morning.

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PLATINI

Platini comes out fighting after Fifa ban

Michel Platini called FIFA's eight year ban a "kick in the teeth" but vowed in an interview on Tuesday to fight on for the presidency of world football's governing body.

Platini comes out fighting after Fifa ban
Photo: AFP

The FIFA vice president and UEFA leader condemned the ethics committee that banned him on Monday but said he would “fight to clear my name.”

Platini's ban from all football activities prevents him from standing in the February 26 election to find a replacement for FIFA president Sepp Blatter and working at UEFA president.

Blatter and Platini were suspended for eight years over a 2 million Swiss francs ($2 million/1.8 million euro) payment made to Platini in 2011 for work carried out between 1999 and 2002.

Platini is determined to plough on in his quest to become the most powerful man in football.

“I will fight. But then I'll take my responsibilities according to what happens,” he told AFP in the exclusive interview.

Platini insisted there was nothing illegal in the oral contract he said was agreed with Blatter. The salary agreement was however never disclosed in FIFA documentation until the payment was made in 2011.

“I'm struggling to understand. Why? How did we get to this? I did some work, I asked to be paid, I sent an invoice, I was paid, I paid my taxes on that. That was in 2011,” he said.

“There was a debt that was settled, full stop! Then, in 2015, the Swiss court wanted more information.

“Then it took off at FIFA and a lot of people at FIFA are happy that this issue happened.

“And here I am, suspended from all football-related activity for eight years.”

Platini repeated his suspicions that the timing of the ban was a deliberate attempt to prevent him from standing in February's election.

“What was the FIFA ethics committee doing between 2011 when I was paid and 2015? Was it sleeping? Suddenly it wakes up,” he scoffed.

“Ah yes, it wakes up in a FIFA election year when I'm a candidate. It's amazing!”

Platini insists he should not be bunged into the same bracket as Blatter, who has long been suspected of corrupt practices.

“I'm fighting against this injustice, from one court to another,” said Platini, referring to the various avenues of appeal he can take within FIFA, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and even in the Swiss civil court.

“But there you go, in the meantime, my name has been dragged through the mud in the press.

“Whatever happens, my reputation has been sullied, I've been kicked in the teeth: I've been put in the same bag as Blatter.”

Platini was an ally of the 79-year-old Blatter who turned against him as the FIFA leader refused to give up office.

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