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Platini plotting bid to become FIFPro president

Michel Platini playing golf during his ban from football (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Michel Platini, the former Uefa president who was banned from all football activities in 2015 on corruption charges, is planning a bid to become president of FIFPro, the international players’ union, according to a report in L’Équipe.

Platini was initially handed an eight-year ban by Fifa’s Ethics Committee in 2015 after being found guilty of wrongdoing relating to a “disloyal payment”, which was later reduced to six and then four years, ultimately expiring on October 8 last year. The 64-year-old Frenchman is now reportedly plotting a comeback as the successor to compatriot Philippe Piat.

Tha latter’s current four-year term expires at the end of 2021, and L’Équipe reports that Platini is likely to open his campaign to replace Piat at FIFPro’s next board meeting on February 17 and 18, when he will begin working with the organisation to familiarise himself with its structure. 

Platini has previously been linked with a run for the presidency of the French Football Federation, with the incumbent Noël Le Graët’s latest term up at the end of this year. But it is believed that Platini sees the FIFPro job as a more likely route back into football governance, as well as more suited to his experience as a former top-level professional footballer and Uefa president. 

Even in the latter role, Platini played up his credentials as a representative of the players, and early last year he wrote an open letter to FIFPro speaking out against the increased role of video assisted refereeing in the sport, calling for “the voice of professional players to be heard” on the matter and urging players to “defend the spirit of the game. Defend our football!”

The three-time Ballon d’Or winner has always maintained his innocence over the accusation that he had received an illegal payment from Fifa while Sepp Blatter was its president, and signalled his intention to return to football politics last year after it was confirmed by Swiss prosecutors that he would face no criminal charges. In June, he was arrested in France to face questions regarding his role in the awarding of the 2022 Fifa World Cup to Qatar, but was again released without charge.