Michel Platini’s career as a football big-wig is all but over.
The disgraced executive, taken to task in recent years for his close ties to Sepp Blatter and his role in the corruption scandal that has gripped FIFA, has resigned as UEFA president.
Platini was handed an eight year ban along with Blatter back in December. FIFA later had it reduced to six due to Platini’s record of service to the sport, but the former Saint-Étienne and Juventus player had continued the appeals process to have it lifted entirely. Platini took his case all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, his last recourse.
The Court decided earlier today not to lift the ban entirely, concurring with the initial Ethics Committee findings that Platini had created a conflict of interest by accepting a £1.25 million payment from Blatter. Instead, it was reduced to four years— which covers the rest of Platini’s term as UEFA president and precludes him from running for FIFA president.. The Court made it clear in their statement that Platini’s remaining term at UEFA informed the rationale behind the decision.
Following the Court’s decision, Platini released a statement acknowledging his resignation while insisting his fight to clear his name will continue.
I take note of today’s decision from CAS but I see it as a profound injustice. This decision inflicts a suspension on me that, as luck would have it, stops me from contesting the next election for the FIFA presidency. As agreed with the national associations, I am resigning from my duties as UEFA president to pursue my battle in front of the Swiss courts to prove my innocence in this case.
The CAS judges who presided over the case said Platini’s attitude in court influenced their decision, noting “the absence of any repentance and the impact that this matter has had on FIFA’s reputation.”
UEFA officials will meet in Basel, Switzerland next week to begin discussions for finding a replacement. An election is expected to be held in September.