South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL say the ban handed down to UEFA president Michel Platini is wrong and puts the FIFA presidential election in jeopardy.
Platini has appealed the 90-day suspension imposed on him by FIFA amid the ongoing corruption investigation involving world football’s governing body.
Platini and FIFA president Sepp Blatter were initially handed bans on Thursday – the former alleged to have made a “disloyal payment” to the Frenchman in 2011.
Both men deny any wrongdoing, with CONMEBOL stating Platini needs to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, adding that the sanction is “untimely and disproportionate”.
“The Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol (CSF) does not agree with the decision provisionally banning FIFA presidential candidate Mr. Michel Platini from all football-related activities,” read a statement.
“It is imperative that sporting justice continues its course in order to clarify all of the facts as soon and definitely as possible. At the same time the presumption of innocence is a fundamental right that has to be considered.
“Mr Platini has not been found guilty of any charge, therefore the provisional ban jeopardises the integrity of the electoral process to the FIFA presidency, of which Mr Platini is a candidate. The CSF, considering the above, believes that the ban is untimely and disproportionate.
“The CSF urges that the provisional ban imposed upon Mr Platini be reconsidered, and that Mr Platini be allowed, with full guarantees and without impairing his rights, to continue as FIFA presidential candidate.
“These are trying times that demand an integral reform of FIFA. The CSF fully believes in Mr Platini’s capacity to lead FIFA and the football world towards a brighter future.
“While the investigations remain ongoing, and until there are clearly proven reasons to modify it, the above constitutes CSF’s position.”
Blatter appealed his suspension on Friday, having been alleged to have signed an “unfavourable” contract with the Caribbean Football Union in 2005 that market experts claim handed over World Cup television rights for a fraction of their market value.
Platini’s bid to replace Blatter as FIFA president appears in doubt following the bans, with reports suggesting the Executive Committee could postpone the elections scheduled for February 2016.
FIFA confirmed on Friday an extraordinary meeting would be held later this month where a possible postponement is likely to be discussed.