Accepting gifts at the World Cup isn’t wrong to UEFA president Michel Platini, one of Sepp Blatter’s notable critics, despite FIFA criticizing an executives who were to take such an offer.
Platini was given a watch as a gift, and instead of returning it, he will donate $27,000 to charity for it.
“I’m a well-educated person. I don’t return gifts,” Platini said. “I’m going to ask for the value of this watch and I’m going to give to a charitable organization, a foundation, this value.”
A FIFA statement on Thursday alerted officials they had weeks (Oct.24 deadline) to give back the watch to the Brazilian football federation. If not, those violators will face ethics proceedings for taking a gift that had more than a “symbolic or trivial value”, per ESPN FC.
Platini noted that he was surprised to see that the watch was so expensive, since they were handed out to many in Brazil.
“If the ethics committee was not pleased, they should’ve told us that four months ago in Brazil, when we received the watches,” Platini said to BBC in Geneva. “They were aware that we were receiving these watches because everybody received them.
“I receive watches, you receive watches, we all receive watches, I have received several. But I was surprised on the one hand to see the value of the watch.”