Michel Platini to appeal FIFA suspension


By Toby Prince

Michel PlatiniMichel Platini has lodged an appeal against the decision by FIFA to ban him for 90 days while corruption claims are investigated.

The 60-year-old head of UEFA was sanctioned along with FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, and Secretary General, Jerome Valcke.

The three deny wrongdoing.

Platini, a FIFA vice-president, was previously the hot favourite to replace Blatter when the Swiss finally steps down next February.

The French FA wants the Court of Arbitration for Sport to intervene to ensure Platini, who is still the preferred candidate of many national associations including the English FA, can stand for election.

FIFA’s much-maligned ethics committee began its investigation after the Swiss attorney general opened criminal proceedings against Blatter in September with the 79-year-old accused of signing a contract “unfavourable” to FIFA and making a “disloyal payment” to Platini.

The ethics committee also opened an inquiry into Platini over the 2m euros (£1.35m) payment, which was made nine years after the Frenchman allegedly carried out consultation work for FIFA.

Platini claimed the reason for the delay in him receiving payment was because FIFA could not afford to, despite the organisation posting massive profits for that time period.

FIFA will hold an emergency meeting on October 20 in Zurich to discuss February’s presidential election, at which a successor to Blatter will be chosen.

Platini has been backed by South America’s football confederation, Conmebol, following his suspension believing he should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty.

The former footballer also retains has the full backing of UEFA, which is holding an emergency meeting next week to discuss the latest crisis.

Last May, Blatter won a fifth consecutive presidential election which mandated him for another four years as the head of world football but announced he would be stepping down just days later following the launch of two investigations into FIFA by United States and Swiss authorities.