FIFA president Gianni Infantino has expressed sadness after his former mentor Michel Platini decided to step down as the UEFA chief following the refusal of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to lift his six-year suspension from all football-related activities.
The 46-year-old said he respects the sports tribunal's decision on Platini, but added that he felt extremely sad to hear the verdict on a personal level.
Infantino added that he had shared some great things with Platini in their span of nine years together at the UEFA, Sport24 reported.
Backing the FIFA's judgment, the Lausanne-based court earlier rejected the appeal filed by Platini and said that the payment he received from the FIFA was 'unfair' and a 'conflict of interests'.
The CAS, however, cut the suspension to four years and reduced Platini's fine from 80,000 Swiss francs to 60,000 Swiss francs.
Platini, along with his former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, received a ban of eight years in last December over claims that the former had received a ' disloyal payment ' of 1.35 million pounds from the outgoing president in 2011.
Both Platini and Blatter, however, refused all the allegations and had their bans reduced to six years by FIFA's Appeal Committee in February.
Earlier in April, the 60-year-old Frenchman's appeal against the ban was heard by a three-member CAS panel, with Blatter among one of the witnesses.
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