Saturday, January 18, 2020

the purgatory of Michel Platini is coming to an end

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Michel Platini at the Parc des Princes on 23 December 2018. Franck Fife / AFP

To listen to it, one would think that Michel Platini has appreciated these last four years. " I returned to a normal world, it's not unpleasant, I discovered a moment of freedom ", he confides to World. The former president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) was suspended in October 2015 by the ethics committee of the International Football Federation (FIFA) in the case of the payment of two million Swiss francs (€ 1.8 million) paid to him in 2011 by former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter.

" At a certain point, some courtiers said to themselves: "Oh, that does not hurt him, he got all that boy, he did it all, it does not hurt him to have some shit." You separate the courtiers, not a friend left me, the family was welded ", continues the former number 10 of the Bleus, seated in a hotel in Geneva, a few kilometers from his home.

This Monday, October 7, the date of the end of its delisting, constitutes "A non-event" to his eyes. "I never felt like I was suspended. Because I do not understand why I'm suspended. I never felt forbidden to work, he quips. People did not ask me to work because they told me that I was suspended. "

It is to prevent " institutions like FIFA to abuse all their powers, to eliminate candidates and to have a right to professional life and death " that the sexagenarian, forced to give up the presidency of FIFA, filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg in December 2017.

" I would like to create a Platini jurisprudence, He explains. How can they stop someone from working in football? " Excluded by the Swiss public prosecutor in May 2018, the Frenchman smiles at the evocation of the procedure opened against him, in 2015, by the FIFA ethics committee.

"All that concerns ethics must come out of the hands of this bureaucratic mafia. The dark side of FIFA is the legal, ethical, disciplinary part. "
Michel Platini

" I would be setting up an independent sports police, a form of outside surveillance, which depends on the UN but not on FIFA. FIFA must manage the disciplinary, but all that concerns ethics must come out of the hands of this bureaucratic mafia, He develops. The dark side of FIFA is the legal, ethical, disciplinary part. "

In early November, Michel Platini released a book. One way to turn the page. "I wanted there to be a writing. Because it remains more than the articles of press. I made a book about my football career. There, I make a book about my political career, he confides. Not on the case. It's over the last twenty years. It starts with a flashback on 2007 when I become president of UEFA. This is not a political record. "

Michel Platini on May 20, 2017 during a Ligue 1 match.
Michel Platini on May 20, 2017 during a Ligue 1 match. Jean-Christophe Verhaegen / AFP

How does he envisage his future at 64? " I received many proposals, foot calls, to be a consultant, to make the Euro, the World Cup. I made a film about the Champions League and I'm going to make a film about the history of the Euro, the 60 years, he explains. The release of my book will take me a little time, it will also go out in Italy. "

"I do not forbid myself, everything is open"

While his name comes back insistently in the corridors of the French Football Federation (FFF), Michel Platini does not wish to pronounce on a possible return to the arena. "The deadlines are far (in December 2020 at the FFF, in 2023 at FIFA). There are clubs, there are plenty of possibilities. I have the time. The people say : "Michel, you are the voice of football." There are not many credible old guys anymore and Cruyff is gone. I will see on. I do not forbid anything, everything is open. "

Asked about the end of the suspension and a possible return of Platini in French football, Didier Deschamps said Thursday, October 3 at a press conference at the headquarters of the FFF: "I do not know his intentions, he has always been a man who loves football and who goes in the direction of football. " And the coach of the France team to add, a bit embarrassed: "After he was tried, he was punished, I do not have to go in there. That he finds his freedom to choose again, good for him, I'm happy for him. "

Michel Platini wants to take his revenge and dethrone Gianni Infantino, his former number 2 at UEFA, elected in his place as President of FIFA in February 2016? "The revenge is persuasive but we are not fulfilled in the revenge. I fight against injusticehe insists. VSit's been forty years since people knew me. Many say "Fight, we know you're clean, come back and break them." "

Read also Michel Platini: "How could someone who vomited on FIFA be the president? "

At UEFA, we see a good eye the return of the former number 10. "I want him to come back through the front door. Let him take revenge later, when he is ready. ", says a senior leader of the European Confederation.

"The custody of 18 June hurt me. You go to a luncheon to tell a president who you are going to vote for. And you find yourself in custody ten years later. »Michel Platini

On June 18, 2019, Michel Platini was detained in Nanterre at the premises of the Central Office for Combating Corruption and Financial and Tax Crimes (OCLCIFF). He was interviewed during the preliminary investigation opened by the National Financial Office (PNF) for "Private corruption", "criminal conspiracy", "trading in influence" and "trading in influence" around the awarding of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The PNF is particularly interested in a lunch at the Elysee Palace on November 23, 2010. That day, Michel Platini, the current Emir of Qatar and his prime minister were gathered around Nicolas Sarkozy. While in custody, the former UEFA president, who admitted to voting for Qatar in the 2010 vote, was confronted by Sophie Dion, former sports advisor to Nicolas Sarkozy , and Claude Guéant, former secretary general of the Elysée.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Qatar 2022 World Cup in Qatar: custody of Michel Platini lifted

" The custody of June 18 hurt me. You go to a luncheon to tell a president who you are going to vote for. And you find yourself in custody ten years later He sighs. " Mr. Sarkozy never asked me to vote for Qatar. I understand, since there were the Qataris, that he wanted me to do it, He added. I can not regret this lunch because I thought I would be alone with him. It's my initiative. There was Obama, Putin among the candidates … It was normal, as the representative of France to FIFA, that I say who I was going to vote for. As Chirac knew I was voting for Morocco (for the 2010 World Cup). It was my duty as a Frenchman to tell him who I was going to vote for. "

If he admits to having " in the beginning " desired "Vote England and the United States", the Frenchman says he told the Emir of Qatar: "I vote for you, but the World Cup must be organized in the (between all the countries of) the Gulf. "

Before entering a new phase of his career, Mr. Platini displays his serenity: " Between the investigative journalists, the Swiss, the Americans, the French who searched my accounts, if there was anything, that would be known. "

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