Platini abandons bid for Fifa presidency

Suspended Uefa chief Michel Platini on Thursday withdrew in the race to come to be president of Zurich-based Fifa, telling French sports every day L’Equipe that he will focus on clearing his name instead.

“I won’t present myself for the presidency of Fifa,” Platini said.

“I am withdrawing my candidature,” the former French football star said.

“I no longer possess the time nor the suggests to visit the voters, to meet folks, to fight against the other candidates,” he said in reference towards the January 26th deadline for nominations to succeed Sepp Blatter.

“In withdrawing, I’m dedicating myself to my defence.”

Platini and Blatter have been suspended for eight years by Fifa’s ethics committee more than a two-million-franc ($2-million) payment made to Platini in 2011 beneath an oral agreement for work carried out between 1999 and 2002.

The 60-year-old Platini added that his eight-year ban has created it not possible for him to have any sort of constructive campaign to take the sport’s most highly effective job.

The new Fifa president will probably be revealed on Feb 26th.

“It is often a query in the calendar, but not simply that. How can you win an election when you are prevented from campaigning?,” he told L’Equipe in the interview to become published in full on Friday.

Platini added that when Blatter decided not to run again to get a post he had held considering the fact that 1998, he was busily garnering support for the Fifa presidency.

“I had received 150 declarations of support 100 official letters from federations and 50 promises. All in two days.”

Platini mentioned he will concentrate his resources on an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) plus the Fifa electoral commission, that is presided over by Domenico Scala and “claimed that I had falsified accounts”.

He added: “I have fought like I have often fought in my life but I’ve not been given the chance to compete this time round.”

Platini’s choice to give up on his dream of becoming Fifa president leaves five declared candidates.

They may be Asian football head Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa of Bahrain, South African politician and tycoon Tokyo Sexwale, former Fifa vice president Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan, Uefa general-secretary Gianni Infantino and Jerome Champagne, a former Fifa assistant basic secretary from France.

Platini, a Fifa vice president, and 79-year-old Blatter were banned from all football-related acivities by Fifa’s ethics committee on Dec 21st.

Platini insisted there was absolutely nothing illegal in his oral contract he stated was agreed with Blatter.

The salary agreement was nonetheless in no way disclosed in Fifa documentation until the payment was produced in 2011.

“I’m struggling to understand. Why? How did we get to this? I did some operate, I asked to become paid, I sent an invoice, I was paid, I paid my taxes on that. That was in 2011,” he told AFP when the ban was announced.

“There was a debt that was settled, full quit! Then, in 2015, the Swiss court wanted much more facts.

“Then it took off at Fifa in addition to a lot of people at Fifa are content that this challenge happened. And here I am, suspended from all football-related activity for eight years.”