Suspended UEFA President Wont Honour Committee Hearing

Suspended UEFA president Michel Platini will not attend a hearing Friday at the ethics committee of the ruling body FIFA, his lawyers said Wednesday.

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UEFA President Michel Platini attends the preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia July 25, 2015. (Xinhua/Dai Tianfang)
UEFA President Michel Platini attends the preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia July 25, 2015. (Xinhua/Dai Tianfang)

wpid-michelplatiniface275x155.jpgA statement sent by e-mail to dpa said the decision was reached after investigatory chamber spokesman Andreas Bantel was on the weekend quoted as saying that Platini and FIFA boss Joseph Blatter are set to be banned for several years.

The lawyers said Bartel’s remarks showed “a disregard for the presumption of innocence” and that Platini would therefore not attend the hearing in a sign of “outrage at a procedure he considers only political to prevent him from running for the FIFA presidency.”

Bartel later spoke of an unauthorized interview while Platini’s camp said that through the remarks “the verdict by that commission is already announced” and that Platini is weighing his legal options against Bartel.

Platini and FIFA president Joseph Blatter face hearings ahead of a final verdict by the ethics committee in connection with a “disloyal payment” of 2 million dollars Platini received in 2011 for FIFA work done between 1998 and 2002.

Both men were suspended on October 8 but protest their innocence and while admitting that there was no written contract they say they had a verbal agreement.

Platini aims to become FIFA president in succession of Blatter on February 26 but a ban would end his ambitions.

The adjudicatory chamber said in a statement that Platini’s case would be dealt with “independently and in an unbiased manner” like any other case. It said his legal team can represent him.

Blatter is to be heard by the ethics judges on Thursday and a verdict could come on Monday. A verdict can be appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Blatter also criticised the ethics proceedings in an open letter to the 209 FIFA members, comparing the probe with “the inquisition.”

Source: GNA

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