UEFA president Michel Platini has labelled reports that his is set to be suspended by the FIFA Ethics Committee as “an attempt to damage my reputation”, adding that he “will stop at nothing to ensure that the truth is known”.
Reports emerged on Wednesday that Platini is facing a 90-day suspension in relation to a £1.3million payment received from outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is himself under a criminal investigation by the Swiss attorney general over the transaction.
The FIFA Ethics Committee is expected to make a statement later on Thursday regarding the revelations but Platini – who is set to stand in the election to replace Blatter when the 79-year-old steps down in February – has moved to refute any wrongdoing on his part.
A statement read: “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.
“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.
“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.”
Platini remains determined to press ahead with his bid to succeed Blatter as the head of world football’s governing body, and confirmed that he had submitted the necessary paperwork to stand for the FIFA presidency, despite renewed uncertainty over his bid.
“This morning I submitted the letters of support that are required in order to stand as a candidate for the presidency of FIFA,” he added.
“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.”