The banned ex-UEFA chief Michel Platini has been released from custody on Wednesday after hours of questioning in connection with a criminal investigation into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
Image: Michel Platini
The French soccer legend denied wrongdoing and a statement from his representatives said the facts of the case were “unknown to him.”
In the early hours of Wednesday, Platini’s lawyer William Bourdon said he had been released without charge, adding that there has been “a lot of fuss over nothing.”
“It was long but considering the number of questions, it could only be long, since I was asked about Euro 2016, the World Cup in Russia, the World Cup in Qatar, FIFA,” he told reporters.
The decision to name Qatar as 2022 World Cup hosts triggered allegations of corruption that ultimately sparked FIFA’s worst ever scandal.
Platini led UEFA until 2015 when he was banned from football for four years for ethics violations including receiving a payment of 2 million Swiss francs (2 million U.S. dollars) from Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president at the time, who was suspended for six years.
Blatter told AFP he was “completely surprised” at Platini’s questioning by police, adding that “this won’t help him” coming as it does months before the end of his ban.
“With this story resurfacing at a time when the international media are in France for the Women’s World Cup and three months before the end of his suspension it’s astonishing and fodder for the media,” Blatter said.