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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 25 July, 2014

New World Cup vote needed if corruption proven, says Platini

The UEFA chief has hit back at criticism.

Michel Platini: UEFA president at centre of controversy.
Michel Platini: UEFA president at centre of controversy.
Image: Lionel Cironneau

UEFA PRESIDENT Michel Platini believes a re-vote is essential if allegations regarding Qatar’s bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup are proven.

Platini was among those who voted for Qatar in 2010 when the emirate won the rights to host the 22nd World Cup.

However, recent reports in the British media have suggested Mohamed Bin Hammam, a former president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), paid up to $5million to football officials to drum up support for Qatar’s bid.

Those allegations have been strongly denied by Qatar’s bid committee, who said they “upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity” throughout the process.

While Platini claims to have “no regrets” over supporting Qatar’s bid, he acknowledges that strong action is necessary should FIFA uncover any wrongdoing.

“I think it was the right choice for FIFA and world football,” Platini told L’Equipe in relation to Qatar being awarded the 2022 World Cup. ”But if corruption is proven, there will need to be a new vote and sanctions.”

Platini’s links with Bin Hammam have come under question, following allegations of a secret meeting between the two before the 2010 vote.

“I saw this colleague 10,000 times in 15 years,” Platini added. “Why would I have had a secret meeting with him? I now realise that in the background there is somebody, something, people organising all this. I can feel it.

“But I think there are lots of interests at stake, for people at FIFA, for people who want to go there and for people who are hoping to be there one day. And no doubt there are also interests of some parties who sell and buy TV rights who want to review the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

“I seem to be the person who is upsetting them. And who can upset them. It’s getting a bit much.”

Platini insists the controversy will not impact on his possible candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

“When I am under attack, I become much stronger and more determined. But that won’t affect my decision. I said I would make an announcement after the World Cup and I will stick to that,” he added.

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