UEFA president Michel Platini will miss the Euro 2016 finals draw in Paris on Saturday after failing in his bid to have his provisional 90-day ban from all football activity lifted.
The 60-year-old Frenchman had lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to lift the suspension but the court on Friday upheld the sanction imposed by FIFA’s ethics committee.
A statement from CAS confirmed the provisional ban had been upheld, but ordered FIFA not to extend it. “The CAS panel…. determined that maintaining the provisional suspension for the remainder of the 90 days does not cause irreparable harm to Michel Platini at this point in time,” statements of the ruling read.
“Indeed, the CAS panel has noted that, at the hearing of December 8, 2015, FIFA’s representatives confirmed FIFA’s assurances expressed earlier that the FIFA ethics committee would render its final decision on the merits (of the case) on or before 5 January 2016, ie. before the provisional suspension comes to an end.
“The CAS panel also emphasised that, even if the ban were lifted at this time, such measure would not give any guarantee to Michel Platini that the FIFA ad hoc electoral committee would validate his candidature for the FIFA presidential election before January 5, 2016.
“However, the CAS panel considered that the situation would change if FIFA were to extend the provisional suspension for any period up to 45 days, on the basis of ‘exceptional circumstances’.
“The panel found that such an extension would constitute an undue and unjustified restriction of Michel Platini’s right of access to justice, cause irreparable harm to him and also tip the balance of interest test in his favour. As a consequence, the CAS panel ordered FIFA not to extend the current provisional suspension imposed on Michel Platini.’
The Euro 2016 draw is close to Platini’s heart, with the tournament being played in his home country, but Friday’s ruling by CAS means he will miss the biggest event in the build-up.
Next week’s FIFA ethics committee hearing could impose lifetime bans on both Platini and Blatter over a £1.3million payment he received in 2011 from FIFA, if corruption is proved, and shorter bans for lesser offences.
Platini insists the 2million Swiss franc payment was owed from an oral agreement he made with Blatter when he started working as FIFA’s technical advisor in 1998.
The timing of the 2011 payment has raised suspicions in that it was made only a few months before Blatter was standing again for the FIFA presidency. Both Blatter and Platini deny any wrongdoing.
Blatter announced in June that he would stand down as FIFA president when fresh elections are held, on February 26 next year, in the wake of corruption inquiries being instigated by both the US Department of Justice and the Swiss authorities into the organisation’s activities.
Issa Hayatou is now the acting president of football’s world governing body because of the provisional suspension imposed on Blatter.
Platini was considered strong favourite to succeed Blatter as president prior to his suspension, which has prevented him from taking part in any campaigning for the most powerful job in football.
By Olisemeka Obeche (with agency reports)