Michel Platini arrested over awarding of 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar

Paris,June 18 : The former UEFA president Michel Platini has been arrested by cops as part of an investigation into alleged corruption in the Qatar 2022 World Cup bidding process. He was picked up as part of an ongoing inquiry into alleged rigging of the vote which saw Qatar earn the rights to stage the 2022 World Cup. He was detained at the offices of anti-corruption police in Nanterres, a suburb in Paris.

Platini served as UEFA president for eight years until 2015, when he was banned from football by the FIFA ethics committee.

The man regarded as one of the greatest players in world football during the 1980s had been found guilty of accepting a “disloyal payment” of £1.6million from then Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

The pair were banned from football until 2023, with the committee saying Platini “did not show commitment to an ethical attitude”.

French financial investigators have been probing claims of “private corruption”, “criminal conspiracy” and “influence peddling and trading in influence” over the vote that took place in Zurich in 2010 for the past three years.

Platini has never denied he voted for Qatar – despite the recommendation of Fifa’s medical committee that it was too dangerous to play a summer World Cup, for which the Gulf state bid – in the desert heat.

Platini was on the committee – in his role as UEFA President – although two of the 24 members were banned from voting because of other corruption scandals around cash for votes allegation.

Along with Platini and Sarkozy, other attendees were the current Emir of Qatar, Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani, and the country’s then Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad Ben Jassem, as well as Gueant and Sarkozy’s sports adviser Sophie Dion.

Platini had originally announced his likely intention to vote for Qatar’s main rivals and the favourites to win the 2022 tournament, the USA. (Agencies)

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