UEFA urges FIFA to probe dossier

Fifa silent on claim that anti-Platini report is alleged to have been distributed from its HQ

ZURICH • European football's governing body has asked Fifa to investigate the alleged distribution of an anonymous heavily critical "dossier" on Uefa president Michel Platini from the world body's headquarters, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported yesterday.

The existence of the dossier on Platini, who is hoping to replace outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter in February's election, has also been reported in the Swiss media.

Welt am Sonntag said the document, entitled "Platini - skeleton in the closet", was distributed out of Fifa's headquarters and paints an unflattering picture of the former France international and questions his suitability to be Fifa president.

The newspaper said the dossier was sent "directly from Fifa headquarters in Zurich to newspapers with a request for publication, but without reference to the author".

It said Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino had written to his Fifa counterpart Jerome Valcke to ask for an investigation of the dossier's creation and distribution.

"We have asked Fifa to investigate the origin of this article because we are concerned by the reports of an alleged smear campaign against the Uefa president," a Uefa spokesman said. "Copies of this letter were also sent to Cornel Borbely and Domenico Scala for ethics and transparency reasons."

Borbely, a Swiss attorney, is Fifa's independent chief ethics investigator and Scala is the independent chairman of Fifa's audit and compliance committee and chairman of the ad-hoc election committee.

Neither were immediately available for comment while Fifa did not respond to a request for comment on the report.

Fifa will hold an election on Feb 26 to choose a replacement for Blatter, who said in June he was standing down from his role in the wake of the corruption scandals that have hit the global football body.

Fifa's corruption troubles came to a head in May when US prosecutors indicted nine football officials, most of whom had Fifa positions, and five marketing and broadcasting company executives over offences including fraud, money-laundering and racketeering.

Platini is the current front runner in the election, with other candidates including former Fifa vice-president Chung Mong Joon of South Korea, former Brazil player Zico, and Liberian FA chairman Musa Bility. But Platini's relationship with Blatter has deteriorated badly.

In an interview with Dutch newspaper Volkskrant on Saturday, Blatter said there was an "anti-Fifa virus in Nyon", the Swiss city which is home to Uefa.

Platini was a former protege of Blatter but turned into one of the 79-year-old biggest critics. The Frenchman has said Fifa's corruption scandal "disgusted" him and gave him "stomach trouble".

Platini, however, has his own critics, in part due to his support for the 2022 World Cup to be held in Qatar.

The former France midfielder, part of the Fifa executive committee since 2002, voted for Qatar, despite Fifa's own technical report flagging concerns about the searing heat in the Gulf state.

He has denied he was influenced to vote for Qatar by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. But the fact that his son Laurent works for a Qatar-owned sports clothing company has also raised suspicions.

He also courted controversy over his refusal to hand back a watch worth more than US$25,000 (S$35,000) that was given to him by the Brazilian Football Confederation at last year's World Cup.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2015, with the headline 'UEFA urges FIFA to probe dossier'. Print Edition | Subscribe