FIFA President “Very Sad” To See Michel Platini Ban From Football Remain | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FIFA President “Very Sad” To See Michel Platini Ban From Football Remain

Posted: May 10, 2016 at 1:33 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has given a mixed reception to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to uphold his former boss Michel Platini’s ban from football.
Platini had hoped sport’s highest court would squash his six-year ban but the Lausanne-based body only reduced it to four years, effectively ending his career in the game.
Speaking to journalists in Mexico City after his first FIFA Council meeting, Infantino said: “As president, I respect the decision of CAS, no doubt about that.
“On a personal level, of course, I’m very sad about the decision.
“I’ve followed Michel for nine years at UEFA, seven as general secretary.
“As UEFA president, he and I did some great things together and, at this moment, I really want to focus on those positive memories.”
Infantino only entered the race to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA boss because Platini’s ban left UEFA without a candidate.
Platini and Blatter, his former mentor, were initially given eight-year bans by a FIFA ethics committee in December over a two million Swiss francs (£1.4m) payment the veteran Swiss administrator paid the France and Juventus legend in 2011. These bans were reduced to six years by a FIFA appeals panel in February.
The pair have always claimed this was the balance of money Platini was owed since 2002 for consultancy work, and he had agreed to wait for payment until FIFA could better afford it.
The basis for this payment was what they described as a “gentleman’s agreement” to pay Platini one million Swiss francs (£700,000) a year.
But the three-man CAS panel said they could only find evidence for a salary of 300,000 Swiss francs and noted the payment was made shortly before the contentious 2011 FIFA presidential election that saw Blatter installed for a fourth term.
In witheringly understated terms, the CAS ruling said it “was not convinced by the legitimacy” of the payment and it represented a clear conflict of interests.
It added that while six years was too severe, Platini deserved a significant ban because of an “absence of any repentance” and the damage he had done to FIFA’s reputation.