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The Football Association withdraws support for Platini


 

As widely reported, The Football Association says it is suspending support for Michel Platini in his bid to become Fifa president.

Uefa president Platini, a former France captain and manager, is being investigated over a £1.35m payment he received from Sepp Blatter in 2011.

Blatter, the outgoing president of world football's governing body, is under criminal investigation over the payment. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

The FA made its decision following a Uefa meeting on Thursday.

Blatter and Platini, along with secretary general Jerome Valcke, are serving 90-day suspensions imposed by Fifa's ethics committee, which is investigating the three over corruption allegations.

An FA statement read: "The FA wishes Mr Platini every success in fighting these charges and clearing his name, and has no interest in taking any action that jeopardises this process.

"However, notwith­standing the above, at the Uefa meeting on Thursday, the FA learned more information relating to the issues at the centre of this case from Mr Platini's lawyers.

"We have been instructed that the information must be kept confidential and therefore we cannot go into specifics.

"As a result of learning this information, the FA Board has this morning concluded that it must suspend its support for Mr Platini's candidature for the Fifa presidency until the legal process has been concluded and the position is clear.

"A decision can then be taken on who to support in the presidential election on 26 February 2016."

 Platini says the money was an unpaid additional salary due from the time he served as Blatter's adviser between 1998 and 2002.

Uefa's 54 members met in Switzerland to discuss the issue and afterwards the association issued a statement saying Platini should have the chance "to clear his name".

It also called for investigators to "work rapidly" and decide "on the merits of the case by, at the latest, mid-November 2015".

The FA said it supported this statement, which also "expressed respect for the significant work" carried out by Platini at Uefa.

Meanwhile, a new contender has emerged in the race to lead Fifa - Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.

The Bahrain sheikh is expected to announce next week that he intends to run for the Fifa presidency.

KJ

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