September 23, 2019

Platini detained in Qatar 2022 probe

June 18, 2019
Michel Platini

Former UEFA president and French football legend Michel Platini has been detained on suspicion of corruption.

The 63-year-old is being held as part of an investigation into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

He was taken into custody in Nanterre, Paris, on Tuesday morning and detained at the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police.

French police investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups previously questioned former Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

According to French news site Mediapart, the former secretary general of the Elysee, Claude Gueant, has also been taken in for questioning but has not been arrested.

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Qatar controversially won the rights to host the 2022 World Cup nearly a decade ago.

The investigation was opened on the grounds of private corruption, criminal association, influence peddling and benefiting from influence peddling.

Platini, who was UEFA president between 2007 and 2015, is currently serving a four-year ban from football after he was found guilty of receiving a “disloyal payment” from Blatter.

The ban was originally for eight years but has been reduced twice.

Platini’s decision to vote for Qatar as hosts of the 2022 World Cup has been the subject of suspicion for a number of years.

Blatter, who was Fifa president at the time of the vote, claimed Platini had backed out of an agreement to allow the US to host the 2022 tournament.

The ex-UEFA president said in 2015 he “might have told” US officials he would vote for the United States bid.

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He allegedly changed his mind following a meeting with Qatar’s crown prince Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani along with then-President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Platini has maintained the meeting did not influence his vote, saying, “Sarkozy never asked me to vote for Qatar, but I knew what would be good.”

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