A new twist has been added to the FIFA Presidency race as the English FA after a meeting on Friday said they were suspending their backing for the candidacy of Michel Platini to succeed Sepp Blatter.
The English Football Association was one of the first federations to publicly endorse Platini’s campaign in July and now becomes the first to distance itself from the UEFA president.
The FA in statement said their action is coming on the heels of the ‘additional information’ they have concerning the controversial 2 million Swiss francs (about $2 million) Platini received from FIFA in 2011.
Though Platini claimed the money was unpaid additional salary from his job as Blatter’s adviser between 1998 and 2002, his explanation is being faulted in many quarters.
Here is the full statement from the English FA:
The FA supports the statement issued by UEFA on Thursday (15 October) concerning the ethics case against Michel Platini.
This statement expressed respect for the significant work performed by Mr Platini at UEFA, requested that he be afforded due process in contesting the charges, and encouraged the relevant bodies involved to reach a final decision on the merits of the case by mid-November.
The FA wishes Mr Platini every success in fighting these charges and clearing his name, and has no interest in taking any action that jeopardises this process.
However, notwithstanding the above, at the UEFA meeting on Thursday The FA learnt more information relating to the issues at the centre of this case from Mr Platini’s lawyers. We have been instructed that the information must be kept confidential and therefore we cannot go into specifics.
As a result of learning this information, The FA Board has this morning concluded that it must suspend its support for Mr Platini’s candidature for the FIFA Presidency until the legal process has been concluded and the position is clear. A decision can then be taken on who to support in the Presidential election on 26 February 2016.