June 22 – Former UEFA president Michel Platini turned 65 on Sunday – retirement age in Switzerland where he still lives for most of the year.
The Frenchman, whose FIFA ban recently expired, has expressed many times that he intends to return to the sport but has not yet decided in what capacity.
“It’s hard to do something that I haven’t already done,” said the former French captain, three-time Ballon d’Or winner, national team boss, organiser of the 1998 World Cup and vice-president of the French FA whose only remaining ambition – to become FIFA president – was terminated abruptly by his ban. “You have to find the project that combines pleasure and usefulness. I’m not going to become a TV consultant again like 30 years ago. “
Platini continues to speak his mind on the game’s pressing issues, not least why many leagues have now resumed after being forced into lockdown by Covid-19.
“We know why these matches resumed: for the money from television rights,” Platini told Le Monde.
With his vote for Qatar to stage the 2022 World Cup still the subject of considerable intrigue after so many years given continued suspicion about the voting process at the time, Platini remains insistent that he was not pressurised by then French president Nicolas Sarkozy to support the Gulf state’s candidacy over the United States.
“I am for the expansion, the development of football,” he argued. “For an Arab-Muslim country to have the World Cup was better than giving it back to others.”
Platini’s only regret is that the tournament isn’t being shared around the region. “I wanted this World Cup to be played in all the countries of the Gulf and not only in Qatar,” he said. “If I had remained at FIFA (he was already a vice-president), I might have got it. ”
“The only thing I said was that if there was corruption, the World Cup in Qatar would have to be removed.”
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