UEFA leader Michel Platini hit out Thursday at “insidious” leaks claiming he faces a 90-day suspension from world football’s governing body FIFA.
Platini, who submitted his papers to stand for the FIFA presidency on Thursday, blamed FIFA for the leaks and said it was “essentially an attempt to damage my reputation”.
The French football legend demanded an inquiry, stressing that FIFA’s independent ethics committee has not issued any decision about his link to a Swiss criminal investigation into FIFA leader Sepp Blatter.
Media across Europe reported Thursday that Blatter and Platini had been suspended for 90 days because of the case.
Swiss investigators are looking into a two million dollar payment made by FIFA to Platini in 2011. Blatter has been accused of criminal mismanagement.
The Frenchman and Blatter have strongly denied any wrongdoing. A suspension could rule the 60-year-old Platini out of the race to replace Blatter in the election in February. But he still submitted his candidate papers on Thursday.
“This is clearly an extremely serious matter,” Platini said of the reports.
“All the more so given that this information appears to have come from an official FIFA source, despite the fact that the Ethics Committee, which is supposed to act with full independence, has not yet issued its decision.
“This deliberate leak – which is insidious in nature and has come about in an unacceptable manner – is essentially an attempt to damage my reputation.
Platini reaffirmed that he expressed his willingness to “cooperate fully with the authorities carrying out the various enquiries in compliance with the strictest procedural rules”.
The UEFA president said “IFA, on the other hand, has clearly flouted those rules.”
“I have always acted and expressed myself with honesty, courage and candour, as I feel that this is my moral duty.
“If what is being reported regarding the intentions of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee is indeed true, I will stop at nothing to ensure that the truth is known. Nobody should be in any doubt as to my determination to achieve that objective.”
Platini called for a “dispassionate, independent and impartial judicial body to shine a light” on the events that led to the FIFA investigation against him.
Platini said he submitted his FIFA president candidate letters on Thursday morning.
He added that he would consult UEFA’s 54 national members to be held soon in Nyon, where the organisation is based.
“I am certain that we will overcome this difficulty with full transparency and the unity that gives football its strength,” he said. – Agence France-Presse