UEFA President Michel Platini has responded to being suspended by FIFA's ethics committee with an unexpected rant, slamming the leaked information as "insidious" that are "essentially an attempt to damage my reputation”.
The leaks have not damaged his reputation, they may have damaged his rather inflated ego. But it is his unethical practices and deflective tactics have damaged his reputation. Regardless of him being found guilty of any crime, it is impossible for anyone in football to trust him thanks to his inability to be upfront and honest.
The full statement he made is below.
“It was reported last night that the investigatory chamber of the Fifa Ethics Committee intends to recommend to its adjudicatory chamber that I be given a 90-day suspension,”
“This is clearly an extremely serious matter – all the more so given that this information appears to have come from an official Fifa source, despite the fact that the Ethics Committee, which is supposed to act with full independence, has not yet issued its decision.
“This deliberate leak – which is insidious in nature and has come about in an unacceptable manner – is essentially an attempt to damage my reputation. Over the last few weeks, I have stressed my willingness to cooperate fully with the authorities carrying out the various enquiries in compliance with the strictest procedural rules. Fifa, on the other hand, has clearly flouted those rules.
“I have always acted and expressed myself with honesty, courage and candour, as I feel that this is my moral duty. If what is being reported regarding the intentions of the investigatory chamber of the Fifa Ethics Committee is indeed true, I will stop at nothing to ensure that the truth is known. Nobody should be in any doubt as to my determination to achieve that objective.
“In the meantime, a dispassionate, independent and impartial judicial body needs to shine a light on the events that led the Fifa Ethics Committee to open these investigatory proceedings.
“This morning I submitted the letters of support that are required in order to stand as a candidate for the presidency of Fifa. As I have always done since 2007, I will fulfil my obligations after consulting UEFA’s 54 member associations, which I will ask to convene shortly in Nyon. I will also meet with all the other confederations and Fifa’s member associations in the spirit of openness that has always characterised my actions.
“I am certain that we will overcome this difficulty with full transparency and the unity that gives football its strength.”
My biggest issue with this statement is the part in italic, during which he seems to use this opportunity to once again reiterate that he fully intends to still run for presidency, and he has the wheels in motion to do this.
This strikes me as a man clinging to power with no real understanding of the severity of the allegations against him. How can we have a man so oblivious to right and wrong in charge of arguably one of the biggest and most profitable sports in the world.
It seems as though the net is closing around the current UEFA President in relation to money he was paid by Blatter in 2011 just a few months before he backed Sepp Blatters re-election campaign, Platini claims this money was an overdue payment for services as Blatters advisor between 1998 and 2002 but why did this money take so long to be paid when FIFA had a surplus 115 million Swiss Francs in that time?
This certainly is not the end of the FIFA scandal but it looks like it is the end of Platini's own FIFA Presidential election campaign before its even really started, and could result in him joining Blatter at the centre of the biggest scandal to hit FIFA in living memory.
In my own opinion I believe FIFA as a whole needs to be stripped back to its bare bones, guilty or not these members have worked in an environment where corruption, lies and deceit are common practice, whilst there are still members of the current regime working at FIFA I do not think we can ever trust them again.