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Platini to quit as UEFA president after FIFA ban reduced

Fabrice Coffrini, AFP

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.

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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)

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