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Platini begins appeal hearing to clear his name


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Platini begins appeal hearing to clear his name

Banned UEFA President Michel Platini said he was “quite happy” with the conduct of his FIFA Appeal Committee hearing on Monday (February 15) and would like to get back to work on the Euro 2016 tournament.

Platini was banned for eight years in December along with FIFA President Sepp Blatter over a payment of two million Swiss francs ($2 million) made to the Frenchman in 2011 with Blatter’s approval for work done a decade earlier.

FIFA’s Ethics Committee, which imposed the bans on Blatter and Platini, said the payment, made at a time when the former was seeking re-election, lacked transparency and presented conflicts of interest. Both men denied wrongdoing.

Leaving the Appeal Committee hearing on Monday, Platini said: “It has been a really good hearing, it has been very well conducted by people who have been sincere and I’m quite happy about how it went. Now, their interpretation – we’ll see how it will go, I don’t know what they are going to do, but I’m quite happy with how it went.”

He said he wanted to return to work at UEFA quickly.

“I hope to go back to work as soon as possible, I hope to go back to the office as soon as the decision has been given by the appeal commission and then, well, prepare Euro (2016 tournament). There are things to do that are important; it’s been several months that I’ve not been working. I always tried to be reasonable regarding the decisions, regarding especially UEFA, so I’m waiting to go back, to work on the Euro, this beautiful European football party which will take place in a country called France.”

However, he was still fighting for reinstatement.

“I’m fighting on that, I’m fighting for that, I’m fighting to be left in peace, to be, not exonerated, because I don’t like to say this word, but I’m fighting to go against the injustice of the people who took my job away.”

Asked if the hearing might have been his last appearance in the FIFA building, Platini laughed and commented: “It’s possible, it’s possible, I don’t know at all, I don’t know if this is the last time in my life that I come here, I don’t know. Maybe.”

Blatter has also appealed and his hearing will take place on Tuesday. If Platini and Blatter lose their appeals, they can still take their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

A FIFA spokesman said the organisation could not comment on when the decision on the case would be made.

Soccer’s world ruling body is engulfed by a graft scandal that has led to the indictment by the United States of several dozen leading soccer officials.

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