Michel Platini has Cleared but Still Suspended by FIFA
Swiss justice has cleared Michel Platini, involved in criminal proceedings against Sepp Blatter. But the suspension of “any activity related to football” which aims until October 2019 will not be lifted however.
In a letter sent to the lawyers of Michel Platini, revealed Friday, May 25 by the newspaper Le Monde, the Swiss justice indicates that the criminal proceedings opened in September 2015 against Sepp Blatter, and in which the name of the triple golden balloon appears, do not do not incriminate him.
“I can not be banned from football any more,” said Michel Platini, relieved Saturday. However, the spokesman for the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office said the case was not completely closed. “In the context of his status as a person to testify, if we find elements, the case Platini is not definitively finished,” he said.
Nothing should change in the short term for Michel Platini, because parallel to the criminal proceedings, FIFA has suspended Platini from any activity related to football, sanction that runs until October 2019. According to a statement issued by Fifa Saturday, there is no question of this suspension being lifted. “It has always been very clear to FIFA and the [Court of Arbitration for Sport] that Mr Platini has never been the target of a criminal investigation in Switzerland”. The Federation states that the CAS considered that Michel Platini was suspended because he had violated the “code of ethics of Fifa”.
Indeed, the former star of Juventus in Turin received in 2011 a payment of 1.8 million euros from Sepp Blatter, then boss of FIFA, for an advisory mission carried out between 1999 and 2002, without a written contract. The Federation initially deprived the Frenchman of “any activity related to football” for eight years. This suspension was reduced to six years on appeal, then finally reduced to four years by the CAS in September 2016.
The next possible president of Fifa?
“I hope that FIFA will have the courage and the decency to lift my suspension, since the justice has established that there is no unfair payment,” said the former UEFA president (2007-2015). The calendar of sports bodies is not trivial: the next election for the presidency of Fifa is scheduled for June 2019 in Paris, four months before the end of the suspension of Michel Platini. Can the former French star show up? “I have time to think, he assured AFP.For now, I take this decision, it allows me to straighten the head.
In addition, the former boss of the Bleus has filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg to challenge his suspension of any activity related to football. But the procedure is not yet ready to succeed.