General secretary Gianni Infantino says UEFA’s Executive Committee wants a swift resolution to Michel Platini’s ongoing suspension but maintained the organisation is functioning properly without the president.
Platini was banned in early October by FIFA’s Ethics Committee along with outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter over an alleged “disloyal payment” apparently made to the Frenchman in 2011.
Both men deny any wrongdoing but Platini saw his appeal against the sanction rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday.
Platini was therefore absent from UEFA’s Executive Committee meeting in Paris on the same day and remains unable to have his FIFA candidacy ratified – unlike presidential hopeful Infantino.
“I think that it’s not the time now to participate in speculation,” explained Infantino, who also confirmed an Executive Committee congress for February 25 in Zurich – a day before FIFA’s elections.
“I mentioned the date we have fixed for the Extraordinary Congress so this will go on as planned. UEFA is functioning and the ExCo has taken note of the [Platini] decision. It hopes and wishes that process will be swift and fast, it supports Platini’s right to process and trial and the opportunity to clear his name.
“In any case, UEFA is running well and as far as Platini is concerned there is a procedure ongoing and we have to wait for outcome.
“Obviously it’s difficult and complicated for Michel and for the institution but UEFA is strong and Michel is strong so we have to move ahead.
“I’m not here as a FIFA candidate, I’m here as general secretary. I am standing and will stand until the end, but we will see how things develop. My candidacy has been supported by the Executive Committee of UEFA as had been the case.
“Nothing has changed. With regards the case of Michel Platini, we will have to wait a little longer.”
Platini’s provisional 90-day suspension lasts until January 5, 2016 and cannot be extended, CAS ruled, with Infantino quizzed on the possible need to appoint a successor at either the Extraordinary Congress or the Ordinary Congress in May.
“It’s too early to make speculation. UEFA will be ready for any situation and be ready for difficult situations,” he added.
“We have to look at what’s happening without overreacting. Patience is the virtue of the strong and we need to follow what’s going on, there is a legal procedure and we have to follow it.
“We have fixed our agenda and we can take quick decisions when there is a need but not before that.”