Michel Platini's appeal over ban rejected by European court of human rights

Guardian

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05.03.2020 09:38

Michel Platini’s appeal against his ban from football has been thrown out by the European court of human rights.

The ECHR announced on Thursday morning that a seven-man panel of judges had dismissed Platini’s action against Fifa’s 2015 decision and held that his human rights had not been violated.

As part of his action Platini had claimed his ban from football, imposed in 2015 by Fifa’s internal disciplinary procedures, had not been subject to a fair and independent hearing. He also claimed the ban was an illegal restraint of trade. In response the court offered a 9,000-word judgment that concludes with the words: “This complaint is manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected.”

The decision to allow Fifa’s decision to stand is a devastating blow to the former Uefa president’s hopes of resurrecting his career in football. The ECHR decision is final and offers no chance of appeal.

Platini was found guilty by Fifa of taking an unexplained payment from Blatter in 2011. He claims the sum was a legitimate salary payment. Fifa maintains the transaction had no legitimate basis. The scandal derailed what had looked certain progress towards the top job at Fifa. The fallout also unseated Blatter and consigned the long-time president to his own exile from football, paving the way for the current Gianni Infantino regime at Fifa.

Platini’s initial eight-year ban was reduced on appeal to four. It expired in September last year. The case in the ECHR was an attempt to hold those proceedings unlawful, to establish Platini’s innocence, and beyond that to launch some kind of footballing comeback.

Its failure opens a path for Fifa’s legal action against Platini and Blatter. The governing body is attempting to reclaim the “disloyal payment”, a sign of its own continued hostility towards it former president and vice-president. For Platini, the man who would have been king, it seems likely this saga is still not over.

ORIGINAL POST

guardian sport added by Cavan Bradford

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