‘It’s a pathetic cover-up’ – Platini pledges to appeal Fifa ban

Michel Platini says his eight-year ban from all football-related activities is a “pathetic cover-up” of an aim to remove him from the sport, and says he will turn to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to appeal it.

Along with Fifa president Sepp Blatter, the Uefa chief was handed a provisional 90-day suspension in October while a payment of two million Swiss francs from world football’s governing body to the Frenchman made in 2011 was investigated.

The Independent Ethics Committee ruled on Monday there was not sufficient evidence to support legality of the transfer, with the pair’s assertions of an oral agreement dismissed as “not convincing”, and subsequently imposed eight-year suspensions on the duo.

Platini has announced his intention to appeal the decision and will seek compensation for damages suffered as a result of the process.

“As well as going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, I am determined to apply to civil courts to obtain damages for all the prejudice I have suffered over these very long weeks,” the Frenchman said in a statement to AFP.

“The decision does not surprise me. I am convinced that my fate was already sealed before the heading on December 18 and that this verdict is just the pathetic cover-up for a desire to eliminate me from the world of football.”

Despite the ruling, European football’s governing body has pledged to stand behind their leader;

“Naturally, Uefa is extremely disappointed with this decision, which nevertheless is subject to appeal,” a statement read.

“Once again, Uefa supports Michel Platini’s right to a due process and the opportunity to clear his name.”