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Ex-UEFA president Platini in custody amid probe into the awarding of 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar

Ex-UEFA president Platini in custody amid probe into the awarding of 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar
Football legend and former UEFA boss Michel Platini is in custody in France amid an ongoing probe into the awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar.

Platini is being held for “technical reasons,” his lawyer said, adding that his client is innocent of any allegations.

Earlier reports said that Platini was detained and questioned on Tuesday morning inside the office of the anti-corruption police in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris.

It came amid an ongoing corruption investigation into the bidding process to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In 2010, the event was awarded to Qatar.

France’s National Financial Prosecutor’s Office launched a bribery probe in the case in 2016. Platini was originally summoned to testify as a witness, according to Le Monde.

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France’s National Financial Prosecutor’s Office launched a bribery probe in the case in 2016. Platini was originally summoned to testify as a witness, according to Le Monde.

Prosecutors are reportedly looking into a lunch hosted by then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, nine days before it was announced that Qatar had won the right to host the tournament. Platini and the head of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who was the prime minister and foreign minister at the time, were guests at the event.

Sarkozy’s former chief of staff, Claude Gueant, and former adviser on sports, Sophie Dion, were questioned by police on Tuesday, after which Dion was detained along with Platini, it is said.

Michel Platini formally resigned as UEFA chief in 2016 after FIFA’s ethics committee banned him from football for eight years (the ban was later reduced to four years). It followed a probe into financial dealings unrelated to the 2022 World Cup bid. He was cleared of corruption charges but found guilty of violating other FIFA rules, including mismanagement and conflict of interest. Platini has denied any wrongdoing.

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Last year, Michel Platini filed a lawsuit against FIFA, arguing that its officials had slandered him. There are “strong indications of a conspiracy aimed at bringing down” Platini, his lawyer said at the time.

One of the greatest midfielders in the world, Platini played for Saint-Etienne and Juventus, and captained the French national team. He led France to victory in the 1984 UEFA European Championship, where he was the top scorer. In the 1980s, he was awarded the Ballon d’Or three times in a row.

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