Platini: ‘I wish FIFA ethics panel would disappear’

Michel Platini wishes the FIFA Ethics Committee which banned him from the sport would disappear, he told two Swiss newspapers in an interview to be published on Saturday.

Platini: 'I wish FIFA ethics panel would disappear'
Former UEFA president Michel Platini at the funeral of former France football coach Henri Michel last years. Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP
Platini was banned from football activities over a two million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros, $2 million) payment from FIFA, took his case to the Swiss courts and was provisionally cleared last week. He is now campaigning for 
FIFA, the governing body of world football to lift his four-year ban from the sport.
The former UEFA president said in his interview that his goal “is to change this biased and opportunistic justice so that it can no longer, in the future, remove adversaries. I do not want more injustices.”
“This masquerade of justice must be stopped,” Platini said. “In this battle I will stop at nothing.”
Platini did not suggest any alternative system for fighting corruption in FIFA. While Platini's lawyer says the courts have cleared the former France captain, Swiss prosecutors have insisted that the investigation “is not 
completely over”. Platini could still be required to appear before a judge if new evidence is found.
In his interview, Platini said: “I want this Ethics Committee whose sole purpose is to serve as a weapon of FIFA to remove opponents to disappear.”
He added that he hopes his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights “will put an end to this system where people are both judges and interested parties and whose only objective is to protect their bonuses, their business and themselves.” 
Platini, who insists the payment was for work he had done, said that during his FIFA appeal, “two out of four judges were taking a nap and even by the end had not understood that I had produced the bill to make FIFA pay me what they owed me.”
“And that's ethical behaviour?” he asked.


Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland

Three former German football officials and ex-FIFA Secretary General Urs Linsi went on trial on Monday in Switzerland over suspicions that Germany bought votes to obtain the 2006 World Cup.

Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland

The three defendants have indicated that they will not be present at the hearing in Bellinzona for a variety of reasons, including fear of travelling because of coronavirus contagion.

Swiss Linsi, 70, former German Football Association (DFB) presidents Wolfgang Niersbach, 69, and Theo Zwanziger, 74, and 78-year-old former DFB General Secretary Horst R. Schmidt are being prosecuted for “fraud”.

They are accused by the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office (BA) of concealing from the DFB the true destination of a transfer of 6.7 million euros ($7.6 million today), paid in 2005 by the organising committee to former Adidas boss, the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, via FIFA.

The case of former World Cup organising committee chairman Franz Beckenbauer is being heard separately because of the former Germany captain's poor health.

The investigation was prompted by a report in German publication Der Spiegel in 2015 that Germany had used a secret fund of 10 million Swiss francs (6.7 million euros at the time) to buy votes and obtain the rights to host the competition at the expense of South Africa.

Beckenbauer is suspected of having asked Louis-Dreyfus, to contribute to this fund shortly before the vote on the host in the summer of 2000.

Louis-Dreyfus was allegedly reimbursed by the German Football Association on the pretext of expenses related to a FIFA gala evening, which ever took place.

Zwanziger, Niersbach and Schmidt have also been charged with tax fraud in Germany and the case is expected to come to trial in the coming months. cpb/pb/td