Former UEFA President Michel Platini arrested over 2022 World Cup row

Michel Platini
Michel Platini

What’s the story?

Ex-President of UEFA, former French footballer and head of European Football, Michel Platini has been arrested for awarding the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar. There were allegations of corruption when the decision was taken back in 2010 and Platini was one of the prime accused.

The former skipper of the French national side was detained by French police from Nanterre, as part of the investigation. It was confirmed by the French investigative outlet Mediapart that the arrest was made in the western suburb of Paris, with regards to this controversy.

In case you didn’t know...

Platini was elected back in 2007 and served as President till 2015 when the FIFA Ethics Committee had banned him for six years. Eventually, the 63-year-old’s ban was reduced to just four, though he has been arrested now and has been taken to the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police

Apart from Platini, Claude Gueant, the former secretary general under President Nicolas Sarkozy, is also being questioned at present as a ‘free suspect’.

The heart of the matter

There are a lot of major issues that have been coming up, with the peninsular Arab nation being named as the hosts. These include human rights concerns and the status of homosexuality, along with a few others.

The temperature of the venue (soaring heat) is also an immediate concern, due to which the tournament was shifted to winter, which wasn’t really part of the tradition of the competition.

Back in 2014, the Frenchman had admitted that he had a secret meeting with disgraced football official Mohamed Bin Hammam, prior to casting his vote in favour of Qatar. Platini was also on the FIFA’s 1998 World Cup organizing committee and had joined their executive committee back in 2002, till he was eventually banned.

Since that shameful decision, out of 24 members of the executive committee, 16 of them have removed, suspended or still remain under investigation.

What next?

This scandal will go down as one of the worst ones in FIFA’s history. The governing body of football across the globe is trying its best to eradicate corruption, though there is always a limitation to what it can do. This is yet another case, where they need to step up and take responsibility and punish the guilty and fast.

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Edited by Kingshuk Kusari
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