FIFA and UEFA were kept in dark about Platini's Blatter deal: Johansson

Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:17am EDT
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By Simon Evans

ZURICH (Reuters) - Former UEFA president Lennart Johansson says that the European football body was never told about the payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.1 million) from Sepp Blatter to current UEFA boss Michel Platini.

Both Platini and Blatter were suspended from football for 90 days by FIFA's Ethics Committee last week with a 2011 payment from FIFA to Blatter under scrutiny. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

Platini has said the payment was for work he carried out under a contract for FIFA as an advisor to Blatter between 1999 and 2002. He said the nine year delay in payment was due to FIFA's financial situation.

The Frenchman's bid to replace Blatter at the helm of FIFA in February's election has been thrown into serious doubt by the affair and UEFA members gather in Nyon on Thursday to discuss the crisis.

Swede Johansson, who was UEFA president from 1990 to 2007 says that the FIFA executive committee, which he served on, was not told about Platini's hiring by Blatter.

"I was a member of the FIFA executive then and Blatter should have reported it to the executive but he never did. I never heard about this arrangement in FIFA.

"This is quite a lot of money, not a small amount. I have only learnt through the media that Platini claims that he has a contract with FIFA," the 85-year-old told the website Inside World Football.

By the time Platini received the payment in 2011 he had replaced Johansson as UEFA president but the Swede continued to attend UEFA executive meetings as honorary president, and he says the payment was never disclosed.   Continued...

UEFA President Michel Platini (R) congratulates FIFA President Sepp Blatter after he was re-elected at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland, May 29, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann