Geneva - Michel Platini will quit as the head of European football after a
sports tribunal on Monday rejected his final appeal against his ban from
football over a suspect $2.0 million payment he received from FIFA.
Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), where Platini appealed against
his sanction, reduced his suspension from six years to four, saying the
penalty initially imposed by FIFA's ethics committee was "too severe".
the court said it was "not convinced" that the $2 million payment Platini received from FIFA in 2011 was
FIFA's tough punishment of the French football legend
was "justified in view of the superior functions carried out by Mr.
Platini... the absence of any repentance and the impact that this matter
has had on FIFA's reputation".
The payment was ordered by world
football's disgraced ex-president Sepp Blatter, who was also brought
down over the infamous transaction.
The pair are the
highest-profile casualties in an unprecedented set of corruption
scandals within world football, which has seen dozens of long-serving
FIFA executives arrested and charged with corruption.
once the front-runner to succeed Blatter as the most powerful man in
the sport, said in a statement that following the ruling he had no
choice but to resign from UEFA.
"As agreed with the national
associations, I resign as president of UEFA to pursue my fight before
the Swiss courts to prove my probity in this case," he said.
He called the CAS ruling "a profound injustice".
executive committee is to meet in Basel on May 18, before the Europa
League final, when it will set a date for an election to replace
In a statement noting the CAS ruling, UEFA said it will not appoint an interim president.
head of the Dutch football association Michael van Praag, a possible
contender to replace Platini, declined to comment on the ruling but
called on Europe "to show unity", the ANP news agency said.
ruling means Platini will be barred from presiding over the Euro 2016
that opens in his native France on June 10, a tournament which he helped
organise until he was provisionally suspended by FIFA in December.
and Blatter have both denied any wrongdoing. They have insisted the
$2 million was part of a legitimate oral contract for consulting work
performed by Platini.
The CAS ruling noted that Platini had a
valid consulting contract with FIFA signed in 1999 - with an agreed
salary of 300 000 Swiss francs ($300,000) per year - which terminated
But, the $2.0 million he received from FIFA in 2011,
"was not based on any document established at the time of the
contractual relations" and did not match the amount left unpaid at the
end of the contract, CAS said.
The ruling from the three-judge
panel highlighted that Blatter authorised the payment four months before
a FIFA presidential election.
Blatter was running against
Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar and there has been speculation that Blatter
approved the payment to Platini to secure the Frenchman's backing in the
While the sports tribunal made no judgement on
Blatter's motivation for approving the payment, it dismissed Platini's
claim that the funds were justified back pay for work performed a decade
The court "was not convinced by the legitimacy of the
payment, which was only recognised by Mr. Platini and Mr. Blatter", the
It described Platini's conduct as "not ethical or loyal".
Blatter is under criminal investigation in Switzerland over the transaction and other aspects of his management of FIFA.
Platini has given evidence in the probe with the status of someone between a suspect and a witness.
was replaced as FIFA's president in February by Gianni Infantino,
Platini's former number two at UEFA, who has vowed to turn the page on
an era within world football plagued by scandal and graft.