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Old 13th October 2015, 12:25   #1
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Default Michel Platini lodges appeal against his provisional suspension by Fifa

Michel Platini lodges appeal against his provisional suspension by Fifa

• Platini joins Sepp Blatter in appeal over 90-day ban by ethics committee
• Uefa president receives support from Conmebol and French federation

Guardian sport and agencies
Monday 12 October 2015 11.03 BST

The Uefa president Michel Platini has lodged an appeal against his 90-day suspension from world football, imposed by Fifa’s ethics committee on Thursday.

Platini and the Fifa president Sepp Blatter were both provisionally suspended from all football-related activities for 90 days while the ethics committee investigates an alleged £1.3m payment to Platini from Fifa in 2011, for work apparently carried out more than nine years beforehand.

Blatter filed an appeal on Thursday with the organisation he had led for 17 years. Uefa confirmed to the Associated Press on Saturday that Platini has now also made contact with Fifa’s appeals committee, which is chaired by Larry Mussenden of Bermuda.

The ban effectively prevents Platini from taking part in the election to succeed Blatter on 26 February. Nominations close on 26 October, although there is likely to be pressure brought at an emergency Fifa executive committee (ExCo) meeting on 20 October to postpone the election.

The French football federation is understood to be planning to go to the court of arbitration for sport to argue that Platini, their nominated candidate, be allowed to continue to run for the presidency.

Platini has also received support from Conmebol, the organisation representing South American football, which said in a statement that Platini should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty.

The statement said: “[Conmebol] does not agree with the decision provisionally banning Fifa presidential candidate Michel Platini from all football-related activities.

“It is imperative that sporting justice continues its course in order to clarify all of the facts as soon and definitely as possible. At the same time the presumption of innocence is a fundamental right that has to be considered.

“Mr Platini has not been found guilty of any charge, therefore the provisional ban jeopardises the integrity of the electoral process to the Fifa presidency, of which Mr Platini is a candidate. The confederation, considering the above, believes that the ban is untimely and disproportionate.

“The confederation urges that the provisional ban imposed upon Mr Platini be reconsidered, and that Mr Platini be allowed, with full guarantees and without impairing his rights, to continue as a Fifa presidential candidate.”

The emergency meeting of the Fifa Executive Committee has been arranged following a call by several members including England’s David Gill, Germany’s Wolfgang Niersbach and Belgium’s Michel D’Hooghe.

It is understood the presidential election will be top of the agenda – postponing the election would help Platini’s cause but there is likely to be strong opposition from other exco members.

Platini released a strongly-worded statement on Thursday in response to his suspension. “I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague,” the Frenchman said.

“Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the Fifa presidency,” he continued.

“I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.”
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King
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