Michel Platini is currently suspended from all soccer activities by FIFA, but the current president of UEFA and presidential candidate for FIFA believes he is the right man to lead the beleaguered organization.
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Platini, 60, spoke to the Daily Telegraph about being suspended by FIFA over a $2 million payment between himself and outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter for what Platini calls services to the president and accepts they had a verbal agreement for the payment which he received in full nine years after the work was carried out.
Blatter, of course, released an avalanche of new information on Wednesday as he claimed that a deal was in place before the 2010 bidding process to name the host nations of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, saying that it was already agreed that Russia would host 2018 and the U.S. would host 2022 before Platini backed the Qatari bid and the U.S. lost the right to host the World Cup. Blatter also accused Platini of “envy and jealousy” in the interview with Russian media.
However, Platini has hit back in a separate interview and stated that he has not only been a top class player for France but has also coached in Ligue 1, held organize the World Cup in 1998 and is the leader of European soccer’s governing body, Platini believes he is the chosen one.
“I know all the families of football, all the sensitivities and the preoccupations of each one,” Platini said. “I am, in all humility, the most able to run world football.”
Several other juicy snippets came from the piece, as Platini said that until he is either cleared of found guilty of any wrongdoing by FIFA during his 90-day suspension, he will continue his campaign trail to try and become FIFA president when the election is held on Fev. 26, 2016. Platini was named as one of the seven candidates on Wednesday by FIFA.
“Even if I cannot go out campaigning, I fully consider myself a candidate,” Platini said. “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 also gave plenty of details on the $2 million payment between him and Blatter, as the FIFA Ethics Committee is currently investigating that with both Blatter and Platini suspended for 90-days.
“The two million represents the equivalent of four years’ salary arrears that FIFA owed me when I was the president’s special adviser. The president himself offered me a contract and a salary that I accepted,” 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. FIFA had the right, after five years, not to pay me. But they decided to respect what was a perfectly valid arrangement.”