UEFA’s Platini says it’s clear he’s not popular
UEFA President Michel Platini believes he has made himself
unpopular in some football circles by enforcing stricter
punishments for clubs, but that it’s a necessary consequence of
trying to clean up the sport.
Platini, who is weighing up whether he has the support to seek
the FIFA presidency in 2015, said Friday that penalizing clubs for
racism, match-fixing and uncontrolled spending is key to ensuring
that football is ”free of cheating, violence or injustice.”
Platini said in an end-of-year message that UEFA still must act
”quicker and firmer,” but highlighted how clubs are already being
forced to play in empty stadiums to punish racism, and booted out
of European competitions for financial mismanagement.
”All of these measures are not making us popular. That is
patently clear,” Platini said. ”However, my aim is not to be
popular. My aim is to be responsible.
”It is a responsibility that I must take on, in order to ensure
football’s continued existence, as well as the future of our
Among the scourges tarnishing football’s image, Platini
highlighted match-fixing, the ”extravagant” amounts middlemen are
making on transfer deals, the trafficking of minors and the
”violent or discriminatory excesses of extremist fringes which
pollute the stands at certain stadiums.”
The centerpiece of Platini’s presidency has been championing
”Financial Fair Play” rules compelling clubs to break even, and
pay players wages and tax bills on time as a condition for playing
in the Champions League or Europa League.
”We will be capable of taking measures which are imperative for
football’s well-being,” Platini said in warning to clubs fearing
being banned from European competitions.
Addressing the mission he faces to clean up European football,
Platini warned that the ”morality of men leaves something to be
”In recent months, football has not always projected the best
possible image of itself,” Platini added. ”Practices which are
morally reprehensible have persisted, despite efforts to eradicate
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