UEFA president Michel Platini’s attempt to clarify his involvement in the FIFA corruption scandal only succeeded in dragging him further into the unholy mess.
Platini wrote to all of UEFA’s 54 member associations in an effort to explain that the extraordinary £1.35m consultancy payment he received from FIFA president Sepp Blatter was a legitimate fee for four years’ work.
But Platini did not answer a key question about that payment which is threatening to derail his bid to succeed Blatter at next February’s election if it remains unanswered.
Why was it made in 2011, just three months before Blatter was elected unopposed for a fourth term and nine years after Platini had finished his full-time FIFA role for which he had already received ‘initial payments.’
The Scottish FA, who have already come out in support of Platini for the FIFA presidency, are one federation that will be contacting the UEFA chief wanting more information about that near decade-long gap between payments.
Meanwhile, Blatter who is facing criminal proceedings from the Swiss Attorney General’s office for that ‘disloyal payment’ while Platini remains a witness, told FIFA staff that he had done nothing ‘illegal and improper’ and would remain at the helm of world’s football’s wholly discredited ruling body.
Platini wrote: “I am aware there is speculation about the facts that concern me personally.
“For reasons of transparency I would like to inform you of the following important aspects.
“From 1998 to 2002, I was employed by FIFA to work on a wide range of matters relating to football. It was a full-time job and my functions were known by all. The remuneration was agreed at the time and after initial payments were made, the final outstanding amount of 2m Swiss Francs (£1.35m) was paid in February 2011.
“This income has been fully declared by me to the authorities in accordance with Swiss law.”
Platini adds that he has also written to the FIFA ethics committee to offer any additional information needed to “clear this matter up.”
He finishes : “I am aware that these events may harm my image and my reputation and the image of UEFA. For these reasons, I wish to use all my energies to ensure that any issues or misunderstandings are resolved as soon as possible.”