Paris (AFP) – World football’s governing body FIFA has given the green light for disgraced former UEFA president Michel Platini to address Wednesday’s UEFA Congress in Athens, triggering anger in Germany.
A source close to Platini, currently serving a four-year ban, said last week he would attend the meeting of European football’s governing body, when the UEFA executive committee will vote on his successor.
“The FIFA Ethics Committee has informed UEFA that Michel Platini will be allowed to address the 12th Extraordinary UEFA Congress in Athens on 14 September,” UEFA said in a statement.
“A request for Mr. Platini’s attendance had been recently made by UEFA and we welcome this decision.”
The decision did not sit well with Reinhard Grindel, president of the German football federation.
“The UEFA Congress should showcase the programme of its new president and not the mistakes of his predecessor,” Grindel told German news agency DPA.
“I would have preferred Michel Platini not to have put in an appearance. This Congress must focus on the future, not the past.”
The former French international, a three-time European footballer of the year, is a key figure in the scandal that brought down FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Platini was on the receiving end of a suspect two-million-Swiss-franc ($2 million, 1.8 million euros) payment that Blatter authorised in 2011.
FIFA has said the payment amounted to an ethics violation and has suspended both men for six years.
Blatter and Platini insist it was a legitimate payment for an unpaid balance that FIFA owed the then-UEFA boss for consulting work done a decade earlier.
Platini lost his CAS appeal against his FIFA ban earlier this year, but the court cut his suspension to four years.
In Athens, the 55 UEFA member federations will vote between two candidates to succeed Platini: Aleksander Ceferin of Slovenia and Dutchman Michael van Praag.