Paris – Disgraced former France star Michel Platini has appealed against his suspension from football for corruption to the European Court of Human Rights.
„It’s a fight for rights against an injustice and if, above and beyond me, this can evolve FIFA, so much the better,“ Platini told AFP on Wednesday.
„I’m going to the ECHR, which others can’t do, because I’m not afraid of FIFA.“
Platini was originally suspended for eight years by FIFA in 2015 over a two million Swiss francs (1.8m euros, $2m) payment he received from the world football governing body for consultancy work, a transaction that also saw former FIFA president Sepp Blatter handed a long ban.
The 62-year-old’s sanction was reduced by two years on appeal and then reduced again to four years by another appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
But a further appeal in the Swiss courts failed and his suspension is due to end in October 2019.
„I’ve met a lot of people who told me not to give up, so I’m continuing to fight,“ said Platini, a dashing playmaker for Saint Etienne and Juventus during his playing career before becoming France coach and then the head of UEFA.
„I first had to lose all the other matches to begin this one but, even if right now I’ve been relegated to the lower leagues, the title will go right to the wire.“
Platini insisted he was fighting a wider battle against FIFA, which he accuses of „dishing out its own justice“ and having the „right to professional life and death over people“.
He added: „I’m telling the Court, ‚I’m the living proof of the unfair machinations of sporting authorities‘.“
Platini’s suspension scuppered his plans to succeed Blatter as head of FIFA, which is now run by former UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino.