Platini still considers himself best candidate to run FIFA

Platini still considers himself best candidate to run FIFA
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Published October 29th, 2015 - 14:46 GMT via

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I am still best man to run FIFA, says Platini
I am still best man to run FIFA, says Platini

Suspended UEFA president Michel Platini was adamant on Thursday that he remains the best person to lead embattled world football body FIFA despite corruption allegations surrounding him.

Platini was suspended by FIFA's ethics committee for 90 days along with FIFA president Joseph Blatter this month while an investigation looks into a payment made by Blatter to Platini nine years after consultancy work was supposedly carried out by the Frenchman.

"I am, in all humility, the most able to run world football," UEFA boss and former France player Platini told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"Today, I have the sense of being a knight from the Middle Ages, in front of a castle. I am trying to get in to bring football back, but instead I'm having boiling oil poured on my head."

Platini remains one of seven candidates to succeed Blatter when the Swiss steps down at an extraordinary FIFA Congress in February. This is despite his suspension meaning he cannot currently campaign and despite his UEFA number two Gianni Infantino also standing.

The 2 million Swiss francs (2.01 million dollars) payment in 2011, which is also being probed by Swiss authorities, has raised suspicions because it came three months before a FIFA presidential election where Platini decided not to stand against Blatter.

But the Frenchman says everything was above board.

"The two million represents the equivalent of four years' salary arrears that Fifa owed me when I was the president's special adviser," Platini said.

"So to be clear: was there work provided? Yes. Is an oral contract legal in Switzerland? Yes. Did I have the right to reclaim my money even nine years later? Yes. Did I produce a proper invoice as Fifa required? Yes. Was the money declared to the taxman? Yes."

Asked if he believes he was trapped into accepting the money so soon before the presidential election, Platini added: "I don't want to believe in conspiracy theories. Yes, I have waited a long time to reclaim what I was owed. But the only mistake is that I let several years go by."

Blatter and Platini have fallen out since, with the multi-faceted FIFA corruption scandal gathering pace as questions are asked over the awarding of a number of World Cups.

The suspended FIFA president risked adding fuel to the fire by telling Russia's TASS that FIFA had agreed the 2018 tournament should go to Russia even before the 2010 vote and that the United States was in line for 2022.

Blatter said Platini's support for Qatar in 2022 changed everything and that if he had stuck with the US, "we would not speak about any problems at FIFA."

Platini said: "With Sepp Blatter our relationship became still more strained when in 2015, going against the promise he made in 2011, he wanted to put himself forward for re-election.

"I will go to the very end of all the sporting and legal processes to defend myself."

© 2015 dpa GmbH

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