Ex-UEFA chief Platini freed from French custody

Clay Curtis
June 20, 2019

The fact that he was a legend of the French National team influenced the fact that he presented himself "freely", although "I was immediately taken into custody".

In addition, the investigators also questioned Platini concerning French club Paris Saint-Germain, which was bought by Qatar in 2011.

The French authorities have also arrested Sophie Dion, a former adviser of ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and questioned Claude Gueant, Sarkozy's ex-chief of staff.

Two former associates of Sarkozy were also questioned by French police on Tuesday regarding the investigation.

Former UEFA President Michel Platini was released from custody in France without charge, AFP reported.

Officials with Qatar's World Cup organising committee said they had no immediate comment.

However, he had already been questioned in the preliminary investigation which was opened in May 2015 and is supported by the US and Swiss judicial authorities. But he has never been charged.

Platini was elected as the president of Uefa, Europe's footballing body, in 2007 and he served until 2015.

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The decision to award the tournament to Qatar, which was made back in 2010, was quickly met with confusion and allegations of corruption, with many suggesting that Federation Internationale de Football Association officials had accepted a bribe to make their final decision. Platini and Sheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani, who was Qatar's prime minister and is now the country's emir, were guests at the lunch.

His brief detention rekindled speculation about the how rank outsiders Qatar won the vote to stage the tournament but Platini told reporters he was hurt at having to be called in. The likes of Australia, Japan and the United States of America had applied to host the tournament, but it was surprisingly offered to Qatar. "It's my conviction", he said at the time. Qatari organizers have repeatedly denied allegations of wrongdoing in the bidding process.

FIFA, the world governing body for football, has previously investigated the award of the World Cup to Qatar but did not find evidence of improper behaviour.

In May 2018, he was cleared of any wrongdoings regarding the 2022 World Cup bid by a Switzerland judge. "Nobody talks about corruption".

"His counsel, Mr William Bourdon, strongly asserts that this is in no way an arrest, but a hearing as a witness in the context desired by the investigators, a framework that prevents all persons heard, then confronted, can not confer outside the procedure". Instead, Uefa secretary general Gianni Infantino took on the role and Aleksander Ceferin replaced Platini as Uefa head.

Due to climatic conditions, the World Cup of 2022 will be held not in summer, but in November-December.

Information from Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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