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The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday rejected the request of former French Football Association President Michel Platini, saying that his four-year suspension of all football-related activities at the end of 2015 was “justified.”
“It does not matter … the battle continues,” the Italian Juventus superstar and the former France national team responded in a message to France Press.
In the statement, the European Court of Human Rights found that “given the seriousness of the crimes committed, the high position Platini held in the football world, and the need to restore the reputation of the game and the International Football Association (FIFA), the sentence imposed does not appear to be excessive, nor arbitrary.”
The court also noted that Platini “benefited from internal institutional and procedural guarantees that would allow him to challenge FIFA’s decision and confirm his complaints.”
Platini, 64, a former France national who chaired WIFA between 2007 and 2015, was suspended from football activities for eight years in mid-December 2015, as the Sports Arbitration Court (Cass) reduced it to four years the following year. Because of his acceptance of a suspicious payment in 2011 of two million dollars for a consulting work he did in 2002 for the former president of the Swiss International Federation, Joseph Sepp Blatter, who was arrested for six years without being attached to a written contract.
The suspension of Platini ended on October 6, and since then the former France national star, who had previously run for FIFA, has made it clear that he will return to the world of football.
FIFA said in a statement that it had “taken note” of the court’s decision, adding that the ruling “is in line with the decision of the FIFA Ethics Committee confirmed by Cass.”
The International Federation confirmed that it “will continue to demand the recovery of the two million dollars that Blatter paid to Platini.”
The International Federation started legal procedures from recovering the amount with interest, as it referred the matter to a civil court in Switzerland, according to his Belgian lawyer, Dennis Leperwick.
Platini cultivates before the European Court of Human Rights, which is based in Strasbourg, in violation of three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights in order to obtain the complete abolition of the sanctions and prove his innocence.
Platini considered that the disciplinary procedures before FIFA and the “Cass” did not allow him to obtain a fair trial, and that the texts in force at the time of the events, from 2007 to 2011, were not applied, and that his arrest was contrary to the freedom to practice professional activity, thus violating his right to respect Private and family life.
The European Court of Human Rights unanimously held that his request was “unacceptable”, while admitting that his arrest had had a “negative impact” on his private life.
The court noted that Platini “freely agreed to give up some rights by signing the mandatory arbitration terms that exclude the legal channels of ordinary courts.”
It concluded that “he was able to challenge the action imposed by FIFA before the International Court of Arbitration,” which “duly justified his decision to reduce the sentence but confirmed it.”