Paris - Michel Platini said the $2.1
million he received from FIFA, a payment which has cast a cloud over his bid to
become president of the world football body, was legitimate reward for genuine
In an interview with the Le Monde newspaper
published on Monday, the head of Europe's powerful UEFA football federation
said the money was for work he did for FIFA President Sepp Blatter from 1998 to
Most of the payment, which is being
investigated by the Swiss authorities, was only made in 2011. Both Blatter and
Platini have denied any wrongdoing over the affair.
Platini provided an extensive account of
how that advisory work and related payments were agreed with Blatter, telling
the newspaper he had never been good with finances and that he had even
short-changed himself in the case in question.
Platini said he had asked for one million
francs a year for the work which included reform of the global competitions
calendar, work on subsidies for the poorest federations, funding for football
projects and a lot of travel with Blatter.
"I've not used lawyers or negotiating
agents for ages," the former French soccer star told Le Monde. "It
was a man-to-man thing."
Platini said that Blatter had explained
that his contract would stipulate an annual sum of 300 000 Swiss francs because
that was the top salary rate at FIFA at the time. The rest of the agreed
one-million a year would be paid at a later date.
Over four years, such a catch-up payment
would have totalled 700 000 francs a year, or 2.8 million Swiss francs.
Platini told Le Monde that when years later
he was asked to send a bill for money still due to him, he mistakenly
remembered a contract salary sum of 500 000 Swiss francs a year rather than 300
000. He therefore sent a bill for a total of only two million francs for the
four years in question.
Blatter and Platini were suspended for 90
days on October 8 after Switzerland's attorney general's office initiated
criminal proceedings against Blatter over the 2011 payment to Platini.