LAUSANNE (AFP/REUTERS) -The independent Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday ordered Fifa not to extend its 90-day provisional suspension on European football chief Michel Platini, saying doing so would be an unjustified restriction of his access to justice.
The CAS, which seeks to settle sports-related disputes, left the existing suspension in force until it expires on Jan 5, on the grounds that it does not cause irreparable harm, according to a CAS statement.
"However, the CAS panel considered that the situation would change if Fifa were to extend the provisional suspension for any period up to 45 days, on the basis of 'exceptional circumstances,' " it said.
The Fifa vice-president had appeared before CAS judges on Wednesday with his lawyers to plead the case for him to be allowed to return so that he can take part in Fifa's election campaign for a new president.
He has been named in a Swiss criminal investigation into Fifa leader Sepp Blatter. Platini received a two million Swiss franc (S$2.85 million) payment from Fifa which is under investigation.
The two acknowledge there was no contract for the fee, but insist that their "oral contract" is valid under Swiss law and deny any wrongdoing.
Platini's lawyers say Fifa's ethics watchdog wants him banned for life.
Blatter, 79, and Platini, 60, will appear next week before Fifa's adjudicatory chamber which must decide whether they should face a definitive punishment.
Blatter's case will be heard on Dec 17 and Platini the following day.
The Fifa court has not said when a decision will be announced.
Platini's suspension, imposed on Oct 8, means the Frenchman will now not take part in Saturday's draw for the 2016 European Championship which France is hosting.
His sidelining has meant his rivals to succeed Blatter in the Feb 26 election have been able to press ahead with their campaigning to lead the scandal-plagued body. Other contenders are Jordan's Prince Ali Al Hussein, Platini's right-hand man at Uefa, Gianni Infantino, Asian football head Sheikh Salman Ebrahim Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, Jerome Champagne, a former assistant general secretary of Fifa, and South Africa's Tokyo Sexwale.