Suspended UEFA President Platini to boycott ethics committee hearing

Michel Platini
Michel Platini

Suspended UEFA president Michel Platini will not attend a hearing this Friday at the ethics committee of the ruling body FIFA, his lawyers said.

A statement said the decision was reached after investigatory chamber spokesman Andreas Bantel was quoted as saying that Platini and FIFA boss Joseph Blatter are set to be banned for several years.

Platini’s lawyers said Bartel’s remarks showed “a disregard for the presumption of innocence” and that Platini would therefore not attend the hearing as a sign of “outrage at a procedure he considers only political to prevent him from running for the FIFA presidency.”

Bartel later spoke of an unauthorized interview while Platini’s camp said that through the remarks “the verdict by that commission is already announced” and that Platini is weighing his legal options against Bartel.

Platini and FIFA president Joseph Blatter face hearings ahead of a final verdict by the ethics committee in connection with a “disloyal payment” of $2 million Platini received in 2011 for FIFA work that was done between 1998 and 2002.

Both men were suspended on October 8, but protest their innocence and while admitting that there was no written contract they say they had a verbal agreement.

Platini aims to become FIFA president in succession of Blatter on February 26 but a ban would end his ambitions.

The adjudicatory chamber said in a statement that Platini’s case would be dealt with “independently and in an unbiased manner” like any other case” and that his legal team can represent him.

Blatter is to be heard by the ethics judges on Thursday and a verdict could come on Monday, December 21. A verdict can be appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Blatter also criticised the ethics proceedings in an open letter to the 209 FIFA members, comparing the probe with “The Inquisition”

Source: GNA

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