Michel Platini has hit out at what he claims are “insidious” attempts to damage his reputation, following reports that he is facing suspension by the FIFA Ethics Committee.
UEFA chief Platini, who is running for the FIFA presidency, has faced scrutiny over an alleged “disloyal” payment made to him by the outgoing Sepp Blatter, which forms part of criminal proceedings opened against the Swiss last month.
Reports on Wednesday suggested that both Blatter and Platini are facing potential 90-day bans from the world governing body’s adjudicatory chamber, but the Frenchman has now launched a stinging defence.
His statement released to the media read:
“It was reported last night that the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee intends to recommend to its adjudicatory chamber that I be given a 90-day suspension.
This is clearly an extremely serious matter – all the more so given that this information appears to have come from an official FIFA source, despite the fact that the Ethics Committee, which is supposed to act with full independence, has not yet issued its decision.
This deliberate leak – which is insidious in nature and has come about in an unacceptable manner – is essentially an attempt to damage my reputation.
Over the last few weeks, I have stressed my willingness to cooperate fully with the authorities carrying out the various enquiries in compliance with the strictest procedural rules. FIFA, on the other hand, has clearly flouted those rules.
I have always acted and expressed myself with honesty, courage and candour, as I feel that this is my moral duty. If what is being reported regarding the intentions of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee is indeed true, I will stop at nothing to ensure that the truth is known. Nobody should be in any doubt as to my determination to achieve that objective.
In the meantime, a dispassionate, independent and impartial judicial body needs to shine a light on the events that led the FIFA Ethics Committee to open these investigatory proceedings.
This morning I submitted the letters of support that are required in order to stand as a candidate for the presidency of FIFA. As I have always done since 2007, I will fulfil my obligations after consulting UEFA’s 54 member associations, which I will ask to convene shortly in Nyon. I will also meet with all the other confederations and FIFA’s member associations in the spirit of openness that has always characterised my actions.
I am certain that we will overcome this difficulty with full transparency and the unity that gives football its strength.”