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Platini Quits Despite Suspension Lowered To 4 Years

Mon 9th May 2016 | UEFA

Michel Platini has had his suspension from football lowered to 4 years but announced his resignation from UEFA having failed to get it overturned.

Platini, who was banned for an initial 6 years by FIFA, hoped the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) would overturn the ban. However, the decision by CAS to uphold this, albeit reduced to 4 years and with a reduced fine of CHF 60'000, now sees Platini formally stand down from his role as President of UEFA.

A statement released by CAS said: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its decision in the arbitration procedure between Michel Platini and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

“The suspension of Mr. Platini has been lowered from 6 to 4 years and the CHF 80’000 fine to CHF 60'000.”

Platini filed an appeal at the CAS in February to request the annulment of the decisions issued by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee and by the FIFA Appeal Committee suspending him for 6 years from any football-related activity at a national and international level and imposing upon him a fine of CHF 80’000.

The hearing, which took place at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland on 29 April 2016, noted the existence of a valid employment contract between Platini and FIFA, signed in 1999 and including an annual salary of CHF 300’000.

However, the Panel was not convinced by the legitimacy of the CHF 2,000,000 payment, which was only recognised by Mr. Platini and Mr. Blatter, and which occurred more than 8 years after the end of his work relations, was not based on any document established at the time of the contractual relations and did not correlate with the alleged unpaid part of his salary (CHF 700’000 x 4 = CHF 2’800’000).

Moreover, the Panel took note that Mr. Platini benefitted from the extension of a pension plan to which he was not entitled. Consequently, the CAS arbitrators unanimously determined that Mr. Platini obtained an undue advantage in breach of Article 20 of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

The Panel also found Mr. Platini guilty of a conflict of interest in breach of Article 19 of the FIFA Code of Ethics although the CAS Panel considered that the suspension imposed by FIFA as too severe and therefore decided to reduce such suspension to 4 years, which corresponds to the duration of a presidential term.

The UEFA Executive Committee will now meet on the morning of 18 May in Basel to discuss the next steps, including the scheduling of an elective congress.

In the meantime, there will be no UEFA President appointed ad interim.

REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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