FIFA is allowing Michel Platini to address the UEFA Congress on Wednesday as “a gesture of humanity” - despite his world football ban over a corrupt payment.
Platini quit UEFA in May after the Court of Arbitration for Sport delivered a damning judgement following his appeal over the “disloyal” $2 million payment agreed verbally with the disgraced former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, which led to their bans from football in December. The CAS rejected Platini’s appeal but reduced his six-year ban to four years.
The CAS justified a severe sanction because of Platini’s standing in world football at the time – UEFA president, FIFA vice president – as well as “the absence of any repentance and the impact that this matter has had on FIFA’s reputation”.
Yet the three-time European Footballer of the Year is now being allowed to breach the terms of his ban by the FIFA ethics committee – the same body which served Platini with an eight-year ban in December, later cut to six by a FIFA appeals committee and reduced again by the CAS.
“UEFA formally asked the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee for an exception for M. Platini to be able to make a short farewell address to its congress in Athens,” a FIFA ethics committee spokesman tells INSIDER.
“The chairman of the adjudicatory chamber, Mr. Hans-Joachim Eckert, granted this exception as a gesture of humanity.”
UEFA said it welcomed the decision to allow Platini to address the congress in Athens.
A new UEFA president will be appointed to replace Platini at the meeting.
Dutch FA chief Michael van Praag and his Slovenian counterpart Aleksander Ceferin will seek to win over UEFA’s 55 member association in the vote.