Blatter Cries Foul

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Sepp Blatter

Deposed president Sepp Blatter has suggested there is ‘a kind of conspiracy at FIFA‘ against Michel Platini after the Frenchman was ruled out of the running to become his successor.

Former FIFA president Blatter and UEFA chief Platini last week had their appeal hearings after being punished in December over a 2million Swiss francs (£1.3million) ‘disloyal payment’ made to the Frenchman, approved by Blatter.

The pair’s suspensions from all football-related activity were reduced from eight to six years on Wednesday in recognition of their services to the game, but both deny wrongdoing and neither is satisfied by the appeal verdict. Both plan to take their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

Platini reacted to an ‘insulting’ and ‘shameful’ decision, by saying it was designed to prevent him from challenging for the FIFA presidency, but told L’Equipe on Thursday: ‘I’m not going to commit suicide.’


Blatter concurs with Platini, who had been favourite to be the first new president of FIFA since 1998 until he was sanctioned last year. Five candidates are standing in Friday’s election, which will take place without the duo.

Blatter told French radio station RTL: ‘For a certain time, I’ve seen that there is a kind of conspiracy at FIFA, firstly against Michel Platini, so that he doesn’t become president of FIFA. I find this sad.’

Five candidates are running today: Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al Hussein, Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al Khalifa of Bahrain, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale and Jerome Champagne, a former FIFA deputy secretary general from France.

Infantino’s credentials were once again endorsed by Platini.

Platini added: ‘We’ve worked together for nine years. He’s a hard worker. I’ve got confidence in him.’


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