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Added May 16th, 2016 by Ian

Disgraced Michel Platini pleases soccer fans by resigning from UEFA

Thousands of European soccer fans were undoubtedly celebrating recently when Michel Platini said he will be resigning as the president of UEFA. However, there was really no need to step down from the post since he was already booted out of it after receiving a six-year ban from the sport last year. Platini appealed the suspension to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) and he lucked out as the ban was shortened to four years by the panel. The 60-year-old former French international then announced he was officially resigning from Europe’s governing body of soccer.

Platini was originally banned for eight years last year along with former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter of Switzerland. The pair was found guilty of breaching the organization’s ethics over a disloyal payment of two million Swiss francs from Blatter to Platini. However, the eight year bans were also reduced for some reason by a FIFA appeals committee to six years. Platini hoped to get lucky once again, but the three-man panel of the CAS stated it didn’t believe the controversial payment between the two men was legitimate.

The pair of disgraced former executives claimed that Platini was paid the money in 2011 for work Platini had done for Blatter and FIFA from 1998 to 2002. They said they had an oral agreement about the debt, but it was never officially recorded in FIFA’s books. The CAS are also wondering why Blatter took about 10 years to pay Platini the money and they also pointed out that the payment was made shortly before Blatter ran again in a 2011 FIFA presidential election. The whole situation looks quite fishy since the payment was on top of Platini’s salary and that’s the reason prosecutors in Switzerland are looking into the case.

Platini wasn’t happy with the CAS decision and told the press he believes he’s been served an injustice. He also added, “I am resigning from my duties as UEFA president to pursue my battle in front of the Swiss courts to prove my innocence in this case.” The CAS responded by claiming Platini’s “behaviour was not ethical or loyal.” Still, the appeals court knocked two more years off his ban and said four years is fair since it’s the same length as a presidential term. In addition, his fine of 80,000 Swiss francs was knocked down to 60,000.

UEFA is scheduled to meet on the 18th of May to discuss the organization’s next steps. The right thing to do will be to hold an election for Platini’s old job in September, but as of now there’s nobody in charge of UEFA. However, it appears there wasn’t anybody doing the job properly either when Platini was in office. To the naked eye, it appears to many that Blatter paid the money to Platini four months prior to FIFA’S 2011 election as a way to guaranteed the Frenchman’s support and vote. At the time Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar was challenging Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Like most of FIFA though, Bin Hammam was also found to be corrupt and was banned for bribery, allowing Blatter to run unopposed for the presidency. The good news for soccer fans around the world is the fact that Platini’s ban won’t allow him to run in the next FIFA election in 2019, assuming FIFA hasn’t been shut down by the authorities by then. Platini has been the UEFA boss since 2007 and it was also revealed that he was given a pension that he wasn’t entitled to.

 
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