Upholding my ban is 'insulting and shameful', says Platini
PARIS (Reuters) - Former UEFA President Michel Platini said it was "insulting and shameful" and a "political decision" that his ban for ethics violations was upheld by FIFA on Wednesday.
Frenchman Platini's suspension, along with that of former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, was reduced from eight to six years by FIFA's appeals committee, based on the mitigating factor of their services to the game.
The decision to reduce the ban was taken by the FIFA appeals committee on the grounds that the original ban of eight years handed to the duo by the ethics committee in December over a £1.3m disloyal payment from Blatter to Platini was too strict. Once that was done, they reduced the sentence to six-year bans for both of them.
Though the decision in a way undermines FIFA's stance of embracing reform, it also ensures that neither Blatter nor Platini can attempt a comeback and will be on the sidelines, at least for these six years.
"The charges against me are baseless, built from the ground up and surreal in view of the facts and the explanations I gave during the hearing," Platini said.
"I will go through all the possible appeals, starting with CAS. I will go to the end of my fight to show that I’m innocent."
(Reporting by Julien Pretot, Editing by Ed Osmond/Mitch Phillips)