Platini vows to fight provisional 90-day suspension imposed by FIFA
UEFA president Michel Platini has vowed to contest his provisional 90-day suspension imposed by FIFA’s ethics committee, expressing in a statement issued by UEFA his "profound feeling of staunch defiance" and claiming the allegations are "astonishingly vague."
UEFA president Platini and FIFA president Sepp Blatter have been handed 90-day provisional bans by the committee while investigations take place into a $2 million payment to the Frenchman. The action leaves Platini’s hopes of running to succeed Blatter in tatters and Dyke said the FA was waiting for the outcome of the investigation — and is prepared to drop its support.
Platini issued the following statement: "Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day."
The statement added: "I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics ”seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.
"Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency. I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.
I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment."
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has said for the first time that the governing body will drop its backing for Michel Platini if FIFA’s ethics committee finds he behaved improperly.
Dyke told Press Association Sport: "If the ethics committee reaches a conclusion that Mr Platini has not behaved properly or has behaved dishonestly then of course the FA will not support him. That’s why we said in our statement that we are awaiting the results of the investigation – we need to see the evidence.
"I can see why people are saying we should stop supporting him now, but we will follow what the ethics committee decides. Platini claims it’s a fix, but if they decide he has behaved improperly we will not support him and I’m sure I would have the backing of the FA board on that."
Dyke also backed calls by IOC president Thomas Bach for independent candidates from outside football to be allowed to run for the FIFA presidency and said there was a need for radical reform.
He added: "We have a view of reform that is more radical than most which would certainly involve independent directors and could well involve a president from outside football. What we do not need is Mr. Blatter Mark II."
He added that if there was any finding of wrongdoing by the investigations into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups he was convinced there would have to be a re-vote. "I have no doubt if the evidence comes out that a bid was won by corruption there will have to be a re-vote," said Dyke.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.