CONMEBOL back Platini, call for FIFA ban to be lifted

CONMEBOL back Platini, call for FIFA ban to be lifted
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Published October 10th, 2015 - 20:49 GMT via

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South America backs Platini
South America backs Platini

The South American football body CONMEBOL has called for the lifting of a 90-day provisional ban of UEFA president and FIFA vice-president Michel Platini by the ethics committee of the ruling body.

A statement late Friday said that the South Americans consider then ban "untimely and disproportionate" and want Platini to be able to continue as a candidate for the FIFA presidential elections on February 26.

"The presumption of innocence is a fundamental right that has to be considered. Mr Platini has not been found guilty of any charge, therefore the provisional ban jeopardizes the integrity of the electoral process to the FIFA presidency, of which Mr Platini is a candidate.

The CSF urges that the provisional ban imposed upon Mr Platini be reconsidered, and that Mr. Platini be allowed, with full guarantees and without impairing his rights, to continue as FIFA presidential candidate.

"These are trying times that demand an integral reform of FIFA. The CSF fully believes in Mr Platini's capacity to lead FIFA and the football world towards a brighter future."

Platini on Saturday reportedly officially appealed against the ban imposed on Thursday against him and FIFA president Joseph Blatter by the FIFA ethics committee.

It came after Swiss authorities opened a criminal investigation against Blatter on suspicion od mismanagement which includes a "disloyal payment" of 2 million Swiss francs (dollars) to Platini in 2011 for FIFA work dome by the French between 1999 and 2002.

Blatter has appealed the suspension and protested his innocence like Platini who named the ban "farcical."

Platini aims to succeed Blatter at an extraordinary FIFA congress on February 26. But it is not out of the question that the congress will be postponed after the latest developments, with the FIFA executive committee set to gather on October 20 for a special meeting.

Blatter and Platini can also go before the Court of Arbitration for Sport if they are unsuccessful before the FIFA appeal committee.

German federation (DFB) chief and FIFA executive Wolfgang Niersbach meanwhile warned Saturday that a possible postponement should not be a long one "because there is simply too much pressure."

The regular FIFA congress in 2016 is scheduled for May 13 in Mexico City.

Presidential candidates must submit their bid to FIFA by October 26. Each contender must pass an integrity check which would likely cause problems for the original frontrunner Platini, who handed in his application just before the ban.

Another candidate, South Korean Chung Mong Joon, seems out of the race after he was banned for six years by the ethics committee Thursday over issues around his country's 2022 World Cup bid.

The other candidate is Jordan's Price Ali Bin Al Hussein who lost the May 29 vote against Blatter, before Blatter said four days later he would lay down his mandate at the extraordinary congress.

© 2015 dpa GmbH

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