FIFA committee wants to recover cash from Michel Platini
By ROB HARRIS
LONDON (AP) The FIFA governance committee has told the soccer body's leadership to pursue legal action against Michel Platini to recover the 2 million Swiss francs ($2 million) that led to the former UEFA president being banned from the sport.
The payment was exposed in 2015 as having been approved by Sepp Blatter, which led to the Swiss official being ousted as FIFA president.
FIFA governance committee chairman Mukul Mudgal wrote to FIFA deputy secretary general Alasdair Bell saying the body had passed a resolution over the wrongful payment.
"The FIFA administration (should) take the necessary steps before the relevant authorities in Switzerland against both Mr. Blatter and Mr. Platini with a view to ensuring that the CHF 2 million unduly paid by Mr. Blatter to Mr. Platini is returned to FIFA (together with interest, at the appropriate rate) and the disciplinary fines and costs imposed are recovered," Mudgal wrote in a Nov. 25 letter seen by The Associated Press.
Platini can work again in soccer because his four-year ban expired in October. But any comeback into a senior role would likely force him to first pay FIFA a fine of 60,000 Swiss francs ($60,300) that is three years overdue. Legal action would also seek that fine to be paid up.
Platini was the heir apparent to Blatter as FIFA president in 2015 until they were both toppled from power.
Blatter is still serving a six-year ban, upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after being imposed in 2015, for authorizing the payment to Platini in 2011 as backdated salary for work as his adviser a decade earlier. Blatter also approved extending his former protege's FIFA pension plan.
Last month, a lawyer for Platini said the former France great was going to court to receive payments allegedly due in his UEFA employment contract worth 3 million Swiss francs ($3 million) in annual salary and bonus.
Lawyer Vincent Solari said UEFA paid Platini for only one year after he was suspended - in October 2015 - and began challenging a ban by the FIFA ethics committee. Platini's contract called for two years of pay "in case of incapacity to perform his tasks," Solari said.
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Updated December 11, 2019