Michel Platini, former president of UEFA and main figure in European football, has been arrested over awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
According to the French investigative office Mediapart, the former French international captain was arrested by French police in Nanterre, a southeastern suburb of Paris, on Tuesday morning as part of the inquiry into corruption concerning how the hosting privileges for the 2022 World Cup were granted.
From January 2007, when he succeeded the late Lennart Johansson, the 63-year-old was Uefa chairman until he came down in 2015 after being barred from football for six years, which was subsequently decreased to four after requesting the sanction to the Sport Arbitration Court.
That restriction expired in March this year, but researchers leading the battle against football corruption detained him on grounds of corruption as part of the case looking into how Qatar gained the right to host the next World Cup.
The right to host the 2022 World Cup in 2010, announced at the same time as Russia won the right to host the 2018 tournament, was controversially granted to Qatar. In 2014, Platini confessed having a secret conference with disgraced former football president Mohamed bin Hammam days before placing his ballot for Qatar, eventually banning the ex-Asian Football Confederation for life after a Sunday Times exposure.
Qatar bought the 2022 World Cup hosting right
An investigation by The Telegraph into the partnership between Platini and Bin Hammam suggested that while working on Fifa’s executive council, the couple met “between 30 and 50 times.”
Platini and Sepp Blatter, the disgraced former leader of Fifa who was at the helm of the world ruling body of football when Russia and Qatar won their respective World Cup hosting rights, were both cleared of charges of corruption in 2015, but found guilty of a series of breaches of regulation which included conflict of interest and dereliction of duties when a 2 m Swiss franc (£ 1,35 m) “unfair compensation” fr Both were given lengthy prohibitions from all operations related to football.
The report also says that Claude Gueant, who had previously advised former French President Nicolas Sarkozy as Secretary-General, was also questioned but was not detained.