Paris - Michel Platini called FIFA's eight
year ban a "kick in the teeth" but vowed in an interview on Tuesday
to fight on for the presidency of world football's governing body.
The FIFA vice president and UEFA leader
condemned the ethics committee that banned him on Monday but said he would
"fight to clear my name."
Platini's ban from all football activities
prevents him from standing in the February 26 election to find a replacement
for FIFA president Sepp Blatter and working at UEFA president.
Blatter and Platini were suspended for
eight years over a $2 million payment made to Platini in 2011 for work carried
out between 1999 and 2002.
Platini is determined to plough on in his
quest to become the most powerful man in football.
"I will fight. But then I'll take my
responsibilities according to what happens," he told AFP in the exclusive
Platini insisted there was nothing illegal
in the oral contract he said was agreed with Blatter. The salary agreement was
however never disclosed in FIFA documentation until the payment was made in
"I'm struggling to understand. Why?
How did we get to this? I did some work, I asked to be paid, I sent an invoice,
I was paid, I paid my taxes on that. That was in 2011," he said.
"There was a debt that was settled,
full stop! Then, in 2015, the Swiss court wanted more information.
"Then it took off at FIFA and a lot of
people at FIFA are happy that this issue happened.
"And here I am, suspended from all
football-related activity for eight years."
Platini repeated his suspicions that the
timing of the ban was a deliberate attempt to prevent him from standing in
"What was the FIFA ethics committee
doing between 2011 when I was paid and 2015? Was it sleeping? Suddenly it wakes
up," he scoffed.
"Ah yes, it wakes up in a FIFA
election year when I'm a candidate. It's amazing!"
Platini insists he should not be bunged
into the same bracket as Blatter, who has long been suspected of corrupt
"I'm fighting against this injustice,
from one court to another," said Platini, referring to the various avenues
of appeal he can take within FIFA, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
and even in the Swiss civil court.
"But there you go, in the meantime, my
name has been dragged through the mud in the press.
"Whatever happens, my reputation has
been sullied, I've been kicked in the teeth: I've been put in the same bag as
Platini was an ally of the 79-year-old
Blatter who turned against him as the FIFA leader refused to give up office.