Platini to resign as UEFA president after six-year ban appeal fails

Platini to resign as UEFA president after six-year ban appeal fails
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Published May 9th, 2016 - 13:38 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Michel Platini
Michel Platini

Michel Platini will step down as president of European football's governing body UEFA after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld his football ban but reduced it from six to four years.

The 60-year-old former France international "will submit his resignation as UEFA's president at the occasion of the next congress of the organization," his lawyers said in a statement.

Platini said the ruling was "a grave injustice" and he would pursue the case through Swiss civil courts.

Platini was banned by football governing body FIFA in connection with a disloyal payment of some 2 million Swiss francs (2 million dollars) he received from then FIFA president Joseph Blatter in 2011 for work done as a FIFA presidential adviser a decade earlier.

The CAS panel ruled that Platini "obtained an undue advantage in breach of Article 20 of the FIFA Code of Ethics" and was "guilty of a conflict of interest in breach of Article 19 of the FIFA Code of Ethics."

It was "not convinced by the legitimacy" of the 2 million Swiss francs payment "which was only recognized by Mr Platini and Mr Blatter, and which occurred more than 8 years after the end of his work relations."

Platini had claimed the money was due to him for unpaid work, but CAS said in its ruling it was "was not based on any document established at the time of the contractual relations and did not correlate with the alleged unpaid part of his salary."

Platini also "benefited from the extension of a pension plan to which he was not entitled," a CAS statement said.

However, the CAS panel considered that the suspension "was nevertheless too severe and therefore decided to reduce such suspension to 4 years, which corresponds to the duration of a presidential term."

It reduced a fine of 80,000 Swiss francs to 60,000 Swiss francs

The panel of Professor Luigi Fumagalli of Italy as president, Professor Jan Paulsson of France, and Professor Bernard Hanotiau of Belgium said "a severe sanction could be justified in view of the superior functions" carried out by Platini as FIFA vice-president and UEFA president and "the absence of any repentance and the impact that this matter has had on FIFA's reputation."

Platini could not be sanctioned for the violation of articles in the FIFA code of ethics relating to general rules of conduct and loyalty. The panel said it also noted that FIFA knew of the payment of 2 million Swiss francs in 2011 but only initiated an investigation into Platini's conduct with the ethics committee in September 2015.

Platini had hoped to be cleared to oversee the Euro 2016 tournament beginning next month in his native France in his function as UEFA boss.

Platini was suspended in October and subsequently banned for eight years, later reduced to six. He went to CAS seeking to annul the decisions taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the FIFA ethics committee and by the FIFA appeal committee.

The former France and Juventus playmaker was heard at a CAS hearing in Lausanne, Switzerland on April 29 when Blatter, who is also appealing to CAS against his ban, appeared as a witness. Blatter's case is expected to be dealth with later this month.

The UEFA executive committee is now expected to go ahead with an extraordinary meeting on May 18 to discuss a presidential election which could take place in Athens in September.

The meeting was due to take place in Basel, Switzerland, ahead of the Europa League final set for the same day.

© 2016 dpa GmbH

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