NYON, Switzerland — Michel Platini is free to work in soccer again on Tuesday morning after his four-year ban by FIFA expires overnight.
The former UEFA president said Monday he is still unsure where and when he will return, and a comeback will likely force him to first pay FIFA a fine of 60,000 Swiss francs ($60,300) that is three years overdue.
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Platini told The Associated Press in an interview about his future plans: “I have some idea but it’s difficult to speak today.”
The 64-year-old Platini says he can “come back everywhere” but pointed out that the next elections for top roles at FIFA, UEFA and the French football association are “some years ahead.”
“I have time, if I come back to this” world, where he was once seen as the heir apparent to former FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
His current fight is still against the case of financial wrongdoing – and allegations linked to backdated FIFA salary and pension entitlement – that ended his bid to succeed Blatter. The charges were upheld so far by two FIFA judicial bodies, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Switzerland’s supreme court.
Platini has challenged the Swiss federal ruling at the the European Court of Human Rights.
He says “that means I don’t pay this fine” while contesting the human rights case in Strasbourg in his native France.
That ongoing sense of injustice, and unpaid debt, could cause FIFA’s ethics committee to impede his return.
Platini suggests: “They will try to use what they want so that I don’t come back, I am sure.”
Soccer’s world body declined to comment Monday on its rules enforcing payment of fines.
FIFA did confirm that Blatter paid his fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,250) first imposed in 2015.
Blatter is serving a six-year FIFA ban, upheld by CAS, for authorizing an uncontracted $2-million payment to Platini in 2011. Blatter also extended his former protege’s FIFA pension plan to add more than $1 million by 2015.