Former UEFA president Michel Platini said he was hurt by questioning from the French police after he was detained over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
Platini, who has never denied voting for the Gulf State in December 2010, was questioned by anti-corruption officers in a Paris suburb on Tuesday.
He has always rejected claims of wrong doing and was released in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
France’s financial prosecutor’s office, the Parquet National Financier, has been investigating the decision to give the World Cup to Qatar since 2016.
Platini, 63, said he was taken into custody and attempted to answer all of the police’s questions. He added that the experience had been a painful one, but said he now felt at peace.
“It hurts for everything I can think of [and] everything I’ve done,” said Platini.
“But after all, they did their job and then we tried to answer all the questions.”
Qatar beat bids from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States in a vote by the executive committee of world football’s governing body FIFA, but more than half of that 22-man panel have now been accused of receiving bribes.
Platini was head of European football’s governing body until 2015 when he was handed an eight-year ban over ethics breaches that was later reduced to four years on appeal.
A statement released on behalf of Platini on Tuesday said he was co-operating fully with the authorities.
“Michel Platini, after being heard in the same investigation in open court last year, is now questioned under police custody for technical reasons,” read the statement.
It said his lawyer, Mr William Bourdon, “strongly asserted that this is in no way an arrest”, but rather Platini was heard “as a witness” by the investigators to ensure those being questioned could not consult with each other during the process.
It added: “Michel Platini expressed himself serenely and precisely, answering all the questions, including those on the award conditions of Euro 2016, and provided useful explanations.”
It also said he had “nothing to reproach himself for” and was “absolutely confident” about the outcome.
Platini’s ban expires this October and he has previously suggested he intends to return to football politics.
Platini and former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter were struck off for eight years by FIFA’s ethics committee in December 2015, although a FIFA appeal body reduced that to six years, for a “disloyal payment” of £1.5million paid by Blatter to Platini.
Platini had a glittering playing career, winning the 1984 European Championship and also league titles in France and Italy with St Etienne and Juventus. He won the Ballon d’Or in three successive seasons from 1983 to 1985.- Press Association