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Platini – FIFA could not afford to pay me

Michel Platini has claimed a lack of funds at FIFA was the reason why he was not paid for nine years for work carried out on behalf of the organisation’s president Sepp Blatter.

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) opened proceedings against Blatter last week on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation, which also uncovered a “disloyal payment” to Platini in 2011 in relation to work done between 1999 and 2002 when the Frenchman was a special advisor to the 79-year-old.

UEFA president Platini – who is in the running to succeed the departing Blatter at the head of FIFA in February – also reiterated his claim that all moneys received had been declared with Swiss authorities.

He told AFP: “I was employed by FIFA as a special advisor to President Sepp Blatter, working on various matters related to football, such as the international football calendar. It was a full-time job.

“Like I explained to the Swiss authorities, I received only part of the agreed salary between 1998 to 2002.

“This occurred because at the time, FIFA informed me that they would not be able to pay me the total agreed amount. Of course all the moneys received at the time were declared to the pertinent authorities.

“Mr Blatter informed me when I started my role as his advisor that it was not initially possible to pay the totality of my salary because of FIFA’s financial situation at that time.

“I never doubted, however, that the remaining amount owed to me would be paid eventually, so I did not actively pursue it. I even put the matter to the side for a while, before finally requesting that the outstanding balance was paid in 2011.

“Like I have said, the outstanding amount for the work I did was paid when I finally requested it to FIFA.

“The fact that this payment was made a few months before the FIFA Presidential elections is irrelevant since I never had any plans of becoming a candidate. As a matter of fact, I was extremely happy to be re-elected as UEFA president at the UEFA congress in Paris in March of 2011.”

When asked if he feared proceedings being opened against him, Platini said: “Absolutely not. I was heard last week by the Swiss Authorities only as a person providing information and I co-operated fully.

“I have to say, however, that I am disappointed with the speculation in some media, especially the one coming from a French tabloid that talks about there being “doubt” around me.

“There is no doubt about my integrity. I have done nothing wrong. That is why I have made myself fully available to co-operate with the relevant bodies and authorities to clarify whatever may be necessary.”

Tue 29 Sep, 2015
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