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Sepp Blatter Secured Michel Platini Support With £1.35 Million Payment

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UEFA president Michel Platini agreed to back Sepp Blatter for re-election as FIFA president weeks after receiving £1.35m from FIFA on Blatter’s authority in March of 2011, according to a report out of England.

Sources told the Guardian on Wednesday that Platini was promised Blatter’s support for the 2015 election should the former French international back the Swiss in his 2011 race against challenger Mohamed bin Hammam.

The report comes a day after former UEFA president Lennart Johansson had questioned the timing of the payment.

Johansson said the existence of the payment was not declared by Blatter to FIFA’s executive committee in 1999, when it was said to have been agreed, and nor was it declared to UEFA’s executive committee when Platini received the money 12 years later.

Platini and Blatter have been suspended for 90 days by FIFA’s ethics committee pending disciplinary proceedings surrounding the case. The payment is also the subject of criminal proceedings by the Swiss attorney general.

A report in the UK has linked Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini.

Asked if he thought the payment was connected to the support for Blatter, Johansson told insideworldfootball: “It must be. I mean that’s exactly what it points at. Why should he have money paid at that moment, at that time of the year, and then not reporting it to the UEFA executive? He is the UEFA president.”

Blatter and Platini have strenuously denied any wrongdoing. Platini said Blatter informed him in 1999 FIFA could not pay his full salary “because of FIFA’s financial situation at that time.” He has not explained the length of the delay or the timing of the payment however.

No written contract surrounding the 2m Swiss francs has been provided to investigators either. – ESPN Sport


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