Platini to meet prosecutor over FC Sion dispute

UEFA President Michel Platini is preparing to be interviewed by

a Swiss criminal prosecutor to explain why FC Sion was expelled

from the Europa League.

UEFA said Friday that Platini would respond to a challenge

leveled by Sion, which is fighting national and international

football authorities on several legal fronts after fielding players

it signed in the offseason in apparent breach of a FIFA transfer

ban.

Sion president Christian Constantin filed a criminal complaint

in UEFA’s home canton (state) of Vaud after the European football

authority ignored a civil court ruling last week that suggested his

club should be reinstated.

”We are happy that Michel Platini should go and meet the Vaud

prosecutor and explain UEFA’s position,” UEFA said in a

statement.

UEFA could not confirm Sion claims that Platini and his general

secretary Gianni Infantino must be interviewed in person on Oct.

19. The maximum penalty would be a fine of 10,000 Swiss francs

($11,000).

Also Friday, Sion learned details that its next – but likely not

last – appearance at the Court of Arbitration for Sport will be

next week.

CAS said it will hear Sion’s parent company’s appeal next

Wednesday against a Swiss league ruling to block registrations for

its six new players at the center of the dispute.

Sion has said it will launch a second challenge at CAS when UEFA

provides the club with detailed reasons for the Europa League

exclusion. UEFA dismissed Sion’s appeal last week and reinstated

Celtic after the Scottish club protested that it lost in the

playoff round to a Sion team fielding ineligible players.

In another case, Sion and UEFA lawyers will meet in a Vaud civil

court next Tuesday. Judges will examine the full evidence following

the interim ruling, when UEFA was not represented in court, that

Sion should regain its Europa League place.

UEFA’s appeals panel rejected that provisional measure and an

emergency committee led by President Michel Platini insisted Celtic

must play, and begin the group program against Atletico Madrid. The

Spanish side won 2-0 and tops a group that also includes Udinese

and Rennes.

UEFA and football’s world governing body FIFA argue that Sion

flouts their rules each time it seeks justice at a non-sporting

court.

However, Sion has secured favorable decisions in civil courts,

including against the Swiss league. A judge’s interim judgment to

qualify the players has been obeyed by the league pending the CAS

verdict.

Sion’s opponents have filed protests when the six players have

played in matches.

Sion is second in the league after beating Grasshoppers 2-0 on

Thursday, with disputed players Pascal Feindouno and Mario Mutsch

scoring the goals.

The legal saga began when Sion broke FIFA transfer rules by

luring Egypt goalkeeper Essam el-Hadary, who broke his contract

with Al-Ahly in 2008.

FIFA’s decision to impose a one-year transfer ban was upheld by

CAS and Switzerland’s supreme court.