French police release Platini … at ongoing Qatar 2022 World Cup probe

FORMER UEFA president and football legend Michel Platini has been released from custody by French police who are investigating alleged corruption during the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

The 63-year-old, who denies wrongdoing, was taken into custody on Tuesday in Paris at the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police.

He was questioned for 15 hours before being released early on Wednesday morning.

No charges were brought against Platini, who said following his release: “I have always been serene because I feel totally foreign to any of these matters.

“This is an old case, you know it, we explained it. I have always expressed myself with full transparency in all the newspapers. That’s it, it goes on, they investigate, they search.

“I was supposed to arrive as a free auditor, I arrived and was immediately taken into custody. It hurts everything I can think of, everything I’ve done, it hurts.

“But after all, they did their job and then we tried to answer all the questions.”

Qatar was awarded the right to host the 2022 World Cup in 2010, when Platini was European football’s top representative on FIFA’s executive committee thanks to his role as head of UEFA.

The decision came as a shock to the footballing world, with the US bid seen as the strong favourite, and the 2022 tournament will have to be held in winter for the first time because of the stifling heat in Qatar during the summer.

Former head of FIFA Sepp Blatter accused Platini of switching his support from the US to Qatar after he attended a meeting hosted by then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the current Qatari emir, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

Platini admitted he “might have told” US officials he would support their bid, but denied the meeting shortly before the vote affected his decision to back Qatar. – Sky Sports

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