UEFA wants fast decision for Platini, no delay for FIFA election
By Simon Evans and Brian Homewood
NYON, Switzerland (Reuters) - European soccer's governing body UEFA called for a quick decision in the case of its suspended president Michel Platini on Thursday and said the FIFA presidential election, which he is contesting, should go ahead in February as planned.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said, however, that there had been "different opinions" among UEFA's 54 member associations and he did not rule out another European candidate entering the FIFA presidential race.
Platini and FIFA president Sepp Blatter were banned for 90 days by the FIFA Ethics Committee last week pending a full investigation into both men's activities, the latest twist to a scandal which has engulfed FIFA and international soccer.
A source from a national association told Reuters that European associations would decide next week whether to pick another candidate from UEFA. He said there were several alternatives as options to Platini.
Blatter and Platini were banned after Switzerland's attorney general's office initiated criminal proceedings against Blatter over a two million Swiss francs ($2.1 million) payment from FIFA to Platini in 2011 for work carried out by the Frenchman between 1998 and 2002. Both men have denied any wrongdoing.
Platini is standing in the FIFA presidential election scheduled for Feb. 26, and was considered the front-runner until recent weeks. The ban could severely hamper the former soccer star's chances of passing an integrity test, which is part of the electoral process.
He has already registered as a candidate and appealed against the suspension. This process goes first to FIFA's own Appeal Committee and then to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"We strongly call on all instances in the current process...to work very rapidly to ensure that there is a final decision on the merits of the case by, at the latest, mid-November 2015," UEFA said in a statement. Continued...