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Michel Platini LOSES appeal to have four-year ban from football declared invalid


Michel Platini's application to the European Court of Human Rights following his four-year suspension from football has been rejected.

The 64-year-old former UEFA president had challenged the sanction, which was imposed over an 'undue payment' made to him in 2011 that had been approved by Sepp Blatter, the president of world governing body FIFA at that time.

Platini took his case to the ECHR in December 2017, and relied on Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in his application, which are concerned respectively with the right to a fair hearing, no punishment without law and the right to respect for private and family life.

On each count the application failed, with the Article 8 complaint described in an ECHR press release as 'manifestly ill-founded'.

'In its decision in the case of Platini v Switzerland, the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final,' a court press release read.

'The Court found in particular that, having regard to the seriousness of the misconduct, the senior position held by Mr Platini in football's governing bodies and the need to restore the reputation of the sport and of FIFA, the sanction did not appear excessive or arbitrary.'

Platini had been considered the likely successor to Blatter as FIFA president until the payment of two million Swiss francs (equivalent now to £1.6m) came to light in 2015.

The transaction was ruled to be an 'undue payment' under FIFA's ethics rules and a disciplinary committee suspended him and Blatter for a period of eight years.

Platini's suspension was reduced to first six and then four years after he challenged it, first in front of the FIFA appeals committee and then the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Platini took the case to the Swiss Federal Tribunal and in June 2017 it confirmed the CAS decision, which had also reduced a fine Platini was obliged to pay to 60,000 Swiss francs (now just under £49,000).

The former France international, who starred in his country's 1984 European Championship triumph, is now clear of the suspension and is keen to get back into football administration in some way.

However, FIFA has instigated legal proceedings against him and Blatter in Switzerland in a bid to recover the two million Swiss francs, the fines and legal costs.

It said in a statement released on Thursday: 'FIFA has taken note of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights to reject the appeal of Mr Platini, which the Court considered to be manifestly ill-founded.

'This judgment is in line with the decision of FIFA's ethics committee, which was confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and also by the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

'FIFA will continue to seek restitution of the two million Swiss francs unduly paid by former FIFA president Joseph Blatter to Mr Platini back in February 2011.'

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