Sports Shorts recently blogged about Michel Platini, the disgraced former FIFA Vice-President and UEFA President, being granted permission to speak at the UEFA Congress on 14 September 2016. Permission was granted by FIFA’s Ethics Committee, the same body that investigated Platini for taking a 2 million Swiss franc payment from FIFA in 2011 and recommended his initial 90 day ban from football. UEFA had to request permission for Platini to speak as he is currently serving a four year ban from participating in footballing activity of any kind.
FIFA’s Ethics Committee explained that permission had been granted as a ‘gesture of humanity’ and to allow Platini to bid farewell to the UEFA Congress.
In a somewhat surprising speech, Platini said that the European football community should “[b]e assured that I have a clear conscience, that I’m convinced I did not make the slightest mistake and that I’m continuing the legal battle. I want to thank everyone in this room who had the courage and loyalty to support me during the past months.”. Interestingly, the Frenchman did not appear to throw his support behind football’s recent governance reforms.
Only time will tell whether Platini’s continuing legal battle will reach a different conclusion to that which three separate judicial panels have come to. However, what is clear is that Platini’s name is inextricably linked to the recent governance scandals in football and that UEFA will now move forward without the Frenchman.
For a short time line of Michel Platini’s downfall within FIFA and UEFA, please click here.