Ex-UEFA chief Platini arrested in Qatar World Cup 2022 probe

French football legend is taken into custody by anti-corruption police investigating the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar
Ex-UEFA chief Platini arrested in Qatar World Cup 2022 probe
Former UEFA president Michel Platini . (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
By AFP
Tue 18 Jun 2019 01:32 PM

Ex-UEFA chief Michel Platini was arrested Tuesday in connection with a probe into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, a source close to the investigation said.

The French football legend elected to lead European football's governing body in 2007 was taken into custody by French anti-corruption police investigating the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to the gas-rich Gulf state.

Qatar was named to host the World Cup in a decision that triggered controversy over its suitability amid allegations of corruption.

Platini, 63, led UEFA until 2015 when he was banned from football for four years for ethics violations including receiving a two-million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros, $2 million) payment from the disgraced former head of FIFA Sepp Blatter.

Qatar has been accused of buying votes in its bid to stage the World Cup and a subsequent report by US independent investigator Michael Garcia unearthed an array of suspect financial dealings, many linked to Sandro Rosell, the ex-Barcelona president who served as a consultant for Qatar.

Platini, a triple Ballon d'Or winner, was expected to succeed Blatter as FIFA president in 2016 before his fall from grace. He has been battling to clear his name ever since.

"He has done absolutely nothing wrong and affirms that he is totally unrelated to the facts (of the case) which are unknown to him," said a statement from Platini's representatives.

His lawyer, William Bourdon, denied that Platini had been placed under arrest by the police, saying that he had been questioned "as a witness", according to the statement.

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