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FIFA sets timeframe for Platini's appeal to prevent him from running for FIFA presidency

December 21, 2015, 19:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Michel Platini will be able to receive the declaration of intent from the FIFA on its decision to suspend him for eight years only in the first half of January
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© EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO

MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. Suspended UEFA President Michel Platini will be able to receive the declaration of intent from the FIFA on the organization’s decision to suspend him for eight years from all international football activities only in the first half of January, Platini’s lawyer Thibaut d'Ales said in a statement.

In the statement obtained by TASS on Monday afternoon, the lawyer said that such timeframe was set intentionally to prevent the French-born UEFA executive from running for the post of the FIFA presidency during the election slated for February 26 next year.

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] in Lausanne wanted to review the case once again and to do it within the terms, which would have allowed Platini taking part in the election of the FIFA president," d'Ales announced in his statement. "However, FIFA announced that the ruling’s declaration of intent will be forwarded to Platini only in the first half of January."

"In line with FIFA’s regulations, one is ineligible of filing appeals until receiving a declaration of intent," the lawyer said. "Therefore, the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee intentionally obstructs Platini of taking care of the case in the CAS within the timeframe, which would allow him taking part in the election."

"Having envisaged such behavior on behalf of FIFA, Platini’s legal counsellors already asked the organization on December 16 for permission to directly file an appeal with the CAS, avoiding appellate bodies within the FIFA," Thibaut d'Ales said. "However, FIFA never reacted to the request at the issue."

Earlier in the day, the previously suspended FIFA and UEFA presidents, Sepp Blatter and Platini respectively, were both banned for eight years by FIFA's Ethics Committee from all international football activities.

The Ethics Committee also subjected both of the football executives to financial fines, obliging Blatter to pay 50,000 Swiss francs (over $50,300) and Platini - 80,000 Swiss francs (over $80,500).

Platini, 60, is a former French football player and manager. Considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, Platini was elected for the post of UEFA president in January of 2007 and was reelected for the second term in March of 2011 and for another term this year in March. The European football executive repeatedly announced his intention of running for the post of the FIFA presidency.

In early October, Blatter and Platini were suspended for the period of 90 days from their posts as part of the investigation into corruption allegations against them. Among a number of corruption allegations, Blatter was suspected of a disloyal payment of 2 million Swiss francs to UEFA President Platini in February 2011.

According to Monday’s statement from FIFA’s Ethics Committee: "The proceedings against Mr Blatter primarily related to a payment of CHF 2,000,000 transferred in February 2011 from FIFA to Mr Platini. Mr Blatter, in his position as President of FIFA, authorised the payment to Mr Platini which had no legal basis in the written agreement signed between both officials on 25 August 1999."

"Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Mr Blatter able to demonstrate another legal basis for this payment," the statement said. "His assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber."

In his letter addressed to members of FIFA on Monday, Blatter wrote commenting on the payment at the issue: "I can assure you that: it was legal because it was based on a verbal agreement."

Blatter, 79, was reelected for his fifth consecutive four-year presidential term on May 29, when his only rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan pulled out after the first round of vote.

However, addressing a news conference in Zurich on June 2, Blatter said he decided to lay down his mandate at FIFA extraordinary elective Congress. FIFA announced in July that the election of the new president would be held next year on February 26.

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