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Platini seeks millions in back pay from Uefa

Former president Michel Platini delivers his speech during the 2016 Extraordinary UEFA Congress (by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

Former Uefa president Michel Platini has said he is taking legal action against European football’s governing body in an effort to secure a substantial amount of back pay, along with bonus and legal fees.

The move by the former France captain comes after his four-year suspension from world football ended last month, effectively making him free to return to the business of the sport. Citing sources close to Platini, the AFP news agency said the former France international is seeking to reclaim around €7.2m ($7.9m), including €5.5m in back pay.

Platini did not confirm the amounts, but said: “Through my lawyer, I am asking for the contractual elements to be applied.” The former Juventus star said the bonus that he wanted repaid was with regards to the organisation of Euro 2016, which was hosted in France.

Platini’s Swiss lawyer Vincent Solari said that legal proceedings had begun. He remarked: “We have claimed the remaining amount of the back pay which we believe is owed according to the contract.”

Solari told the Associated Press news agency that Uefa paid Platini for only one year after he was suspended, in October 2015, and began challenging a ban by the Ethics Committee of world governing body Fifa.

Solari said Platini’s contract called for two years’ pay “in case of incapacity to perform his tasks.” Solari added that Uefa “informed us recently that they don’t want to enter into any negotiation,” adding that a claim will be filed “in due time in front of the competent court.”

Platini began targeting a return to football in May 2018 after Swiss federal prosecutors confirmed he was not being charged as part of an investigation into possible financial wrongdoing. The former head of Uefa was banned by Fifa’s Executive Committee in December 2015, whilst running to replace Sepp Blatter at the head of the world game.

Fifa opted to ban both Blatter and Platini in relation to an incident in 2011 where Blatter approved a payment of CHF2m (€1.8m/$2m) from Fifa to Platini for work done a decade earlier. No criminal case was ever opened against Platini.

Platini’s eight-year ban from world football was initially reduced to six years by Fifa’s Appeals Committee. In May 2016, Platini resigned as president of Uefa after he failed in his latest bid to overturn the ban, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) instead opting to reduce his suspension from six to four years.

In July 2017, the Swiss Federal Tribunal, the highest legal institution in the country, rejected another appeal from the 64-year-old, stating that the ban did “not appear to be manifestly excessive.” Platini starred for France and Italian Serie A club Juventus in the 1980s and his Fifa suspension ended on October 6.