Michel Platini on Monday admitted receiving remuneration from football’s world governing body Fifa but adding further twist in the tale said that no written contract was made.
Fifa’s embattled and now suspended president, Sepp Blatter, said last week that he paid $2 million dollar to Platini in 2011 as a ‘gentleman’s agreement’.
In an interview to French daily Le Monde, Platini said the deal was made “man to man” but that he understood under Swiss law “an oral contract is worth a written contract”.
In the lenghty interview, Platini indicated that he felt Blatter was seeking to make a political killing over the payment which doomed his chances of getting Fifa’s top job.
As Swiss criminal investigation into the Fifa scandal deepened, Platini was seen as the favourite to succeed Blatter in February but was dashed of any chance when the investigating agency named him in the scam.
Both Platini and Blatter have been suspended for 90 days by Fifa’s ethics committee as Swiss authorities conduct a criminal investigation into the corruption allegations of the now scam-tainted football world body.
Platini told Le Monde he felt “shame at being dragged through the mud.”
He explained that Blatter had wanted him to work alongside him at Fifa after the Swiss took over but turned down the request as he was organising that year’s World Cup which France hosted and won.
Blatter then came back and asked for his services as an advisor, asking “how much do you want?” Platini said he replied, “A million.”
Asked to specify which currency he said: “Whatever you want, rubles, pounds, dollars.” He said Blatter agreed to pay a million Swiss francs per year (around $770,000 at the time).
Platini added, “I am not a money man,” and said he told Blatter to “choose what you want to pay me,” saying he had full trust in Fifa. Blatter was duly elected to head Fifa and Platini said: “I started working in the September.”
He said several months passed with no payments to him and he asked at the time if there was a problem. Blatter said that it was difficult to pay him three times the 300,000 Swiss francs that Fifa’s secretary general was earning at the time.
Quoting Blatter, Platini said, “‘So we will draw up a contract for 300,000 Swiss francs and give you the balance later.’
“But later never came.”
Fifa’s congress is due to meet on February 26 to elect a new president. But Platini’s chances of succeeding Blatter appear to have imploded.
Last week, the English FA suspended support for Platini, despite Uefa’s 54 members having previously offered backing. The FA said it had been told of more information “relating to the issues at the centre of this case from Mr Platini’s lawyers” at a Uefa meeting last Thursday.