Suspended European soccer chief Michel Platini announced Monday to resign as UEFA president after losing his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a ban for ethics violations imposed by the sport’s world body FIFA.
Earlier on the day, a three-men arbitral panel upheld Platini’s suspension but cut his sanction from six to four years.
The 60-year-old Frenchman called the verdict a “deep injustice” and said he was left no choice but to step down from the UEFA position he has held since 2007.
“As agreed with the national associations, I resign as president of UEFA to pursue my fight before the Swiss courts to prove my probity in this case,” he said in a statement.
Once the front-runner to succeed Sepp Blatter in chasing the FIFA presidency, Platini was banned for “conflict of interest” over a two million Swiss franc payment authorized by former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
He was handed an eight-year suspension by the FIFA Ethics Committee last December before being lowered to six years in February by the FIFA’s Appeal Committee.
CAS said Platini’s four-year suspension from football-related activities “corresponds to the duration of a presidential term.”
Platini’s current mandate expires in March 2019 and the next FIFA presidential election is due in May 2019.
“This decision is inflicting me a suspension whose length will de facto prevent me – as if by chance – from bidding for the next FIFA presidential election,” said the Frenchman.
UEFA’s executive committee is to meet in Basel, Switzerland on May 18, before the Europa League final, when it will set a date for an election to replace Platini.
In a statement noting the CAS ruling, UEFA, who did not comment on the CAS verdict, said it will not appoint an interim president ahead of the election.