Zurich - Banned UEFA president Michel Platini could face further investigation
from FIFA's Ethics Committee after attending an awards ceremony and
conference in Dubai despite being barred from "all football activity".
Platini, the head of European soccer body UEFA, was handed an eight year
ban from the game by FIFA's Ethics Committee on December 21, along with
banned FIFA president Sepp Blatter. He is appealing the decision and
insists he has done no wrong.
The ban relates to a payment of two million Swiss francs made by
Blatter's FIFA to Platini in 2011, nine years after he finished working
as a consultant to Blatter.
On December 27, Platini attended the Globe Soccer Awards organised by
the Dubai Sports Council in Dubai, along with soccer stars such as
Argentine Lionel Messi and Italian Andrea Pirlo.
Frenchman Platini was photographed at the event and also made comments regarding his ban to the Italian media while in Dubai.
A spokesperson for FIFA's Ethics Committee declined to comment on the
specific case but said: "In general terms: The Investigatory Chamber of
the Ethics Committee of FIFA investigates any alleged breach of the
Ethics Code of FIFA."
A spokesperson for Platini did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The December 21 ruling from FIFA Ethics Committee chair Hans-Joachim
Eckert stated that Blatter and Platini were banned "for eight years from
all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other)
on a national and international level. The bans come into force
Platini has said he will fight the ban through the appeals process,
which is likely to end up with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in
Lausanne, Switzerland, and has also been fiercely critical of the
decision and the Ethics Committee itself. Blatter has also said he will
FIFA has been thrown into crisis by investigations from the FBI and
Department of Justice in the United States and Swiss authorities.
The Swiss Attorney General has opened a criminal investigation into
Blatter regarding the payment to Platini. The Frenchman is viewed as
"somewhere between a witness and an accused person" according to the
Attorney General Michael Lauber.
In the United States, prosecutors have indicted 27 current or former
soccer officials, including eight ex-FIFA Executive Committee members
and the current heads of both the North and South American federations,
over allegations they ran bribery schemes connected to the sale of TV
rights for football competitions.