Won’t commit suicide, will fight till end: Platini

Paris, Feb 25 (IANS) Former UEFA president Michel Platini has vowed to continue his fight against his ban from football after FIFA rejected his appeal.

Platini and FIFA counterpart Sepp Blatter were given eight-year suspensions following an investigation by FIFA’s independent ethics committee into a payment of two million Swiss francs by world football’s governing body, and authorised by Blatter, to the former France captain in February 2011.

Platini and Blatter had their bans reduced by two years by the FIFA Ethics Committee on Wednesday, though his attempts to have the sanction quashed were dismissed.

The Frenchman confirmed he will take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and insists he will do everything to have his name cleared.

“I won’t commit suicide. I’m not on Valium. My destiny was not to be president of Fifa, but to be in the France team,” Platini, who had intended to run in the FIFA presidential elections on Friday, was quoted as saying by French daily L’Equipe on Thursday.

“I’m not a politician, I’m a man of football. And today, I still am. But I will fight to the end against injustice, to have my name cleared, as I have done absolutely nothing wrong,” the 60-year-old said.

Platini went on to accuse world football governing body’s “bureaucrats” of orchestrating his ignominious exit from football governance and has backed UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino as the right man to succeed Blatter at the head of the organisation.

“The FIFA bureaucrats took power. It’s they who have done everything to have me fired. Today, we must know what FIFA we want. Do we want a FIFA of the elected or a FIFA controlled by the bureaucrats? This is the challenge of the coming years. Gianni and I worked together for nine years. He’s a hard worker. I have confidence in him,” Platini said.

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