This could be a big blow to the UEFA boss and his ambitions of heading football’s governing body. Michel Platini is already serving a 90-day suspension from football-related activities.
UEFA’s president, Michel Platini, who hopes to succeed Sepp Blatter atop FIFA, could face a life ban from football, according to his lawyer.
Lawyer Thibaud d’Ales said that FIFA’s ethics committee has asked for the maximum sanction when it submitted its final case report on a payment of 2 million Swiss francs (1.84 million euros, $1.97 million), one Platini received from Blatter. Platini’s lawyer said the bid for a lifelong ban was a “scandal” and “excessive.”
“This ban is subject to the proof of corruption, but the punishment is clearly excessive,” D’Ales told Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency. “It’s not based on anything in the case.”
“The overreaching of the request really convinces us of this commission’s total lack of credibility,” D’Ales told the Associated Press (AP). “There is not a single tangible element in this case that can confirm the suspicions.”
The ethics committee will announce its final verdict next month, FIFA said on Monday, when Platini will face a hearing in front of German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert.
Platini, 60, and Blatter, 79, are both serving a 90-day suspension from FIFA, football’s governing body, because of a corruption charge involving the alledged payment. Both had their appeals denied last week, and Platini is taking his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Platini is in his eighth year as president of UEFA. He also worked as a presidential advisor to Blatter from 1998-2002. His current ban from FIFA had so far prevented him from officially applying for the FIFA presidency – in an election due to take place on February 26. A lifetime ban would categorically end his hopes for the job.
dv/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)