Platini in trouble over Dubai ceremony

MIAMI • Banned Uefa president Michel Platini could face further investigation from Fifa's ethics committee, after attending an awards ceremony and conference in Dubai despite being barred from "all football activity".

Platini, the head of European football body Uefa, was handed an eight-year ban from the game by Fifa's ethics committee on Dec 21, along with banned Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

He is appealing the decision and insists that he has done nothing wrong.

The ban relates to a payment of 2 million Swiss francs (S$2.8 million) made by Fifa to Platini in 2011, nine years after he finished working as a consultant to Blatter.

On Sunday, Platini attended the Globe Soccer Awards, organised by the Dubai Sports Council in Dubai, along with football stars such as Lionel Messi and Andrea Pirlo.

The Frenchman was photographed at the event and also made comments regarding his ban to the Italian media while in Dubai.

A spokesman for Fifa's ethics committee declined to comment on the case but said: "In general terms, the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee of Fifa investigates any alleged breach of the ethics code of Fifa."

Platini's spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

The Dec 21 ruling by Fifa's ethics committee stated that Blatter and Platini were banned "for eight years from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) on a national and international level. The bans come into force immediately."

Platini has said that he will fight the ban through the appeals process, which is likely to end up with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland. He has also been fiercely critical of the decision and the ethics committee itself.

Blatter has also said he will appeal.

Fifa has been thrown into crisis by investigations from the FBI and Department of Justice in the United States and Swiss authorities.

The Swiss Attorney General has opened a criminal investigation into Blatter regarding the payment to Platini. The Frenchman is viewed as "somewhere between a witness and an accused person," according to the Attorney General Michael Lauber.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2015, with the headline 'Platini in trouble over Dubai ceremony'. Print Edition | Subscribe