London (AFP) – Michel Platini revealed on Friday he is considering a return to football as the former UEFA president bids to restore his tarnished reputation following his ban from the game.
Platini was banned for four years from football and had to quit UEFA after being found to have taken a $2 million (1.8 million euro) payment from then FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2011.
The 64-year-old, who lost the chance to stand for the presidency of global governing body FIFA as a result of his suspension, is still fighting to clear his name in the European Court of Human Rights.
But his ban, which was twice reduced from eight and then six years following earlier appeals, expired in October and Platini hopes to get back into football politics, according to an interview the former France star gave to British newspaper The Times.
“It could be my destiny. I don’t want to go into a club so that means a political matter, a national association, UEFA, FIFA or (professional footballers’ association) FIFPRO, in two or three years so I have time to consider if it’s good for me and if I would be useful,” Platini was quoted as saying on The Times website on Friday.
“FIFPRO don’t need me at the moment but if they want to bring the players into football politics I could be important for them, the players are the key to football.
“But I know FIFA called them and said ‘Don’t take him’.”
Platini was interviewed by French authorities over a lunch he attended with then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the Emir of Qatar in 2010, a month before FIFA controversially awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and the 2018 tournament to Russia.
Blatter claimed Platini told him Sarkozy had ordered him to vote for Qatar for political reasons.
But Platini told the Times: “As I said to the (French) justice we never spoke of the World Cup at this lunch, and Sarkozy never said you have to vote for Qatar.
“When I was with the French justice they were sure I received a Picasso painting, because there was a report in a British newspaper that secret services said that I received a Picasso from Putin.
“They were looking to see if I had a Picasso. It’s incredible. It was a total fabrication.”
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