French sports legend Michel Platini on Monday announced he would step down as Europe’s top football official after his appeal against a six-year FIFA suspension failed.
Platini, who has been UEFA president since 2007, said he would resign to pursue the case over a suspect $2 million payment in Swiss courts.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected Platini’s appeal saying it was not convinced about the "legitimacy" of the payment ordered by ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
It did cut Platini’s six-year ban on football activities down to four years, and reduced a fine from 72,000 euros (80,000 Swiss francs) to 54,000 euros.
"I note today's decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport but I consider it a profound injustice," Platini said in a statement.
"This decision inflicts a suspension for which the length stops me, de facto, and by luck, from being a candidate in the next FIFA presidential election," he added.
"As agreed with the national associations, I resign as president of UEFA to pursue my fight before the Swiss courts to prove my probity in this case."
"Life has always kept beautiful surprises for me, now I am free to live them," said the former French football star.
The decision means that Platini – who played 72 caps with the French national team and won three consercutive Ballon d’Or trophies in the 1980s – will not be able to take any official role in the European Championship finals that start in France on June 10.
He was a key organiser of the event until the FIFA payment scandal erupted last year.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Date created : 2016-05-09