Michel Platini: Uefa still supports president’s Fifa bid

Uefa president Michel Platini still has the support of European football’s governing body in his bid to become Fifa president, despite concerns over a £1.35m payment from Sepp Blatter.

Outgoing Fifa boss Blatter is under criminal investigation over the 2011 payment, while Platini has also been questioned – they deny any wrongdoing.

Uefa’s 54 members met in Switzerland on Thursday to discuss the issue.

Platini should have the chance “to clear his name”, a Uefa statement said.
It also called for investigators to “work rapidly” and decide “on the merits of the case by, at the latest, mid-November 2015”.

Outside the meeting reporters were told by Austrian soccer federation president Leo Windtner that all 54 member nations “fully support” their president.

The statement issued shortly afterwards confirmed: “We support Michel Platini’s right to a due process and a fair trial and to the opportunity to clear his name.”

However, one Uefa source told the BBC there was a clear split between those members who continue to back Platini and those who want “to consider a plan B”.

Michael Van Praag, head of the Dutch FA, is being considered as an alternative candidate to Platini by some member associations – who, the BBC has learned, could hold a meeting on Monday or Tuesday to discuss that option.

Platini is also a vice-president of world governing body Fifa, but was last week suspended from all football for 90 days by the organisation while it investigates the payment from Blatter.

The absence of a written contract detailing the payment had caused several countries to reconsider backing Platini in February’s Fifa presidential elections.

Asked by BBC Sport about the payment and his future, before Thursday’s emergency meeting, Platini refused to comment.

The former European footballer of the year has said he accepted the sum as delayed payment for work carried out as Blatter’s adviser between 1998 and 2002.

But the nine-year delay in receiving the rest of the payment has caused concern for some Uefa members.

credit: bbc