Platini’s Fifa hopes in doubt

Uefa’s members remain split over their support for Michel Platini with some associations backing an alternative candidate such as Holland’s Michael van Praag be put forward for the Fifa presidential election.

Platini’s lawyer yesterday addressed a meeting of Uefa’s 54 associations but failed to address the issue of a lack of written agreement for a £1.35m (€2m) payment to him from Fifa president Sepp Blatter which has led to the pair being provisionally banned.

Uefa’s members issued a joint statement calling for a “rapid decision” by mid-November on the Fifa ethics case involving Platini and supporting the suspended Uefa president’s right to a fair hearing.

A number however, including the four British associations, remain to be convinced.

There were suggestions at the meeting in Nyon that a ‘Plan B’ be drawn up for if Platini is found guilty, which would see an alternative European candidate put forward for the Fifa election before the October 26 deadline.

Uefa’s general secretary Gianni Infantino said it was agreed the Fifa presidential election on February 26 “cannot and should not be delayed”.

He added: “There was a discussion if there should be a European candidate or not. This is something that will be discussed by Uefa representatives on the Fifa ExCo next week.”

Platini and outgoing Blatter have been provisionally banned for 90 days by Fifa’s ethics committee over the payment made in 2011, the money was for work they say was done by the Frenchman more than nine years previously. The case is also being investigated by the Swiss attorney general.

In a statement following the meeting in Nyon, Uefa said the case and the whole appeals process needed to be completed by mid-November.

The statement said: “We support Michel Platini’s right to a due process and a fair trial and to the opportunity to clear his name.

“We strongly call on all instances involved in the current process: Fifa’s ethics committee, Fifa’s appeal committee and ultimately the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to work very rapidly to ensure there is a final decision on the merits of the case by, at the latest, mid-November 2015.”

Infantino added on Platini, who is still being paid his Uefa salary: “We need to have a final decision. The rest is speculation without due process, and it is a bit unfair.”


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