Paris - Michel Platini has decided not to attend
his hearing before FIFA's ethics committee in Zurich, scheduled for Friday, his
lawyers said on Wednesday.
A statement from the legal representatives
of the suspended UEFA president said he chose to boycott the hearing after
"the verdict was already announced to the press by a spokesman...going
against the presumption of innocence."
Platini and FIFA president Sepp Blatter are
currently serving 90-day bans from all footballing activities after Swiss
prosecutors opened a criminal investigation looking partly into a $2 million payment Blatter authorised to Platini
in 2011, reportedly for work done a decade earlier.
The provisional ban is due to expire on
January 5 but both men risk being banned for life by the tribunal, with a
verdict expected on Monday.
According to Platini's lawyers, who will
attend the hearing, prosecutors are seeking a lifetime ban against the
Frenchman. The penalty sought against Blatter is not known.
Andreas Bantel, spokesman for FIFA's ethics
committee, was quoted by French sports daily L'Equipe as saying that Platini
would be side-lined for "several years".
"Suppose even the charge of corruption
is not accepted by the chamber, there are many other offences such as a
conflict of interest, mismanagement or falsification of accounts," Bantel
was also quoted as saying by l'Equipe before its website story was altered.
Bantel, who has highlighted that he
represents only the prosecutors in FIFA's in-house court, not the judges, said that the French newspaper had published "an unauthorised
interview" and his comments had been made in a personal capacity.
Platini's lawyers responded, saying:
"By this decision, Michel Platini wishes to express his indignation at the
proceedings that he considers to be purely political and intended to prevent
him running for the FIFA presidency."
The Frenchman's campaign for the leadership
of world football's governing body has been halted by the ban and he was unable
to attend last weekend's Euro 2016 draw in Paris.
FIFA's ethics court had reaffirmed its
integrity earlier on Wednesday after a report appeared in L'Equipe saying that
Platini had not yet decided whether to attend his hearing.
A statement from the judgement branch of
the FIFA court said "the Ethics Committee will deal with the present case
in the same way as with any other procedure independently and in an unbiased
The statement from the committee's judges
added that a boycott of the hearing by Platini would see him "miss the
opportunity to present his points of view vis--vis the adjudicatory chamber in
In a letter released on Tuesday, Blatter
said that he would appear at his hearing set for Thursday.