August 16, 2015 / 12:26 AM / 2 years ago

UEFA complain to FIFA over alleged Platini smear campaign

ZURICH (Reuters - European soccer’s governing body have asked FIFA to investigate the alleged distribution from their headquarters of an anonymous heavily critical ‘dossier’ on UEFA president Michel Platini, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday.

UEFA President Michel Platini smiles before the preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia July 25, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The existence of the dossier on Platini, who is hoping to replace outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter in February’s election, has also been reported in the Swiss media.

Welt am Sonntag said the document, entitled “Platini - skeleton in the closet”, was distributed out of FIFA’s headquarters and paints an unflattering picture of the former France international and questions his suitability for the role of FIFA president. The newspaper said the dossier was sent “directly from FIFA headquarters in Zurich to newspapers with a request for publication, but without reference to the author”.

They said UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino had written to his FIFA counter-part Jerome Valcke to ask for an investigation of the dossier’s creation and distribution.

“I can confirm that UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino sent a letter of complaint to FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke,” a UEFA spokesman told Reuters.

”We have asked FIFA to investigate the origin of this article because we are concerned by the reports of an alleged smear campaign against the UEFA President.

“Copies of this letter were also sent to Cornel Borbely and Domenico Scala for ethics and transparency reasons.”

Borbely, a Swiss attorney, is FIFA’s independent chief ethics investigator and Scala is the independent chairman of FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee and chairman of the ad-hoc election committee.

Neither were immediately available for comment while FIFA did not respond to a request for comment on the report. FIFA will hold an election on Feb. 26 to choose a replacement for Blatter who said in June he was standing down from his role in the wake of the corruption scandals that have hit the global soccer body.

Platini is the current front runner in the election but his relationship with Blatter has deteriorated badly.

In an interview with Dutch newspaper Volkskrant on Saturday, the 79-year-old Blatter said there was an “anti-FIFA virus in Nyon”, the Swiss city which is home to UEFA.

Former FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-joon of South Korea, ex-Brazil player Zico, former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder David Nakhid and Liberian FA chairman Musa Bility have also said they are running in the election. Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, beaten by Blatter in May’s election, is considering another run while South African Tokyo Sexwale has also said he is weighing up whether to stand.

FIFA’s corruption troubles came to a head in May when U.S. prosecutors indicted nine soccer officials, most of whom had FIFA positions, and five marketing and broadcasting company executives over a range of alleged offences, including fraud, money-laundering and racketeering.

Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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