November 7 – Having just completed his ban from football, Michel Platini is back in the media spotlight with a series of interviews giving his account on the current ills of the game and where he stands.
The former UEFA president has still not revealed if or when he will return to the game in an official capacity but has wasted no time picking his moments to get his views across.
Platini, the pioneer of financial fair play, says money is killing football and has launched a particular broadside at Middle East-owned Paris St. Germain, comparing the club’s commercial clout with that of corporate giants like Coca-Cola as he questioned their philosophy.
Platini served as the head of UEFA for eight years but never achieved his goal of running FIFA when he was banned in 2015 after an ethics investigation found he received a “disloyal payment” from Sepp Blatter four years earlier.
In an interview with France Info on the question of limiting the number of foreign players per team, Platini said: “Today, you buy all the best players and you win. Everything is based on wealth – money kills a philosophy of football.”
PSG, owned since 2011 by Qatar Sports Investment, has lost its identity, according to Platini.
“The president is Qatari, the sports director [Leonardo] is Brazilian, the coach is German [Tuchel], there is a Frenchman on the team (Mbappe) , [but] why is it called Paris Saint-Germain?” There are 40,000 people, a lot of people who love the club. [But] it could be called Coca-Cola or anything.”
“When you are UEFA president, you want everyone to participate in your competitions, and that everyone has a chance to win them. It is a bit complicated at the moment.”
Platini still believes he was the victim of a conspiracy when he was prevented from going on to become FIFA president in succession to Blatter.
“It’s difficult for me to lay charges even though I have my idea. I know who collaborated,” said the Frenchman who, in another interview, attempted not for the first time to explain why he had voted for Qatar to stage the 2022 World Cup over the United States.
“I have always voted for the development of football. I had voted for Morocco four years before. And so at a certain point, for the development of football, it’s great to go to the Gulf.”
“I asked for two things: that it would be a Middle East World Cup, i.e. that Qatar would make an effort to work with Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain and the rest of the Gulf. And the second thing, that the World Cup would be in November and December.”
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