Former UEFA president and French football legend Michel Platini was arrested on suspicion of corruption.
A justice official in France says former UEFA president Michel Platini has been arrested in relation to the awarding of the 2022 World Cup.
Confirming a report published by online news publication Mediapart, the official says Platini was taken into custody on Tuesday as part of the investigation into the awarding of the tournament to Qatar. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.
Platini, a former France soccer great, was being detained at the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police outside Paris.
Platini, who was UEFA president between 2007 and 2015, is currently serving a four-year ban from football after he was found guilty of receiving a “disloyal payment” from ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter.
The ban was originally for eight years but has been reduced twice, according to Sky News.
That ban expired in March this year, but investigators leading the fight against corruption within football have arrested him on suspicion of corruption as part of the case looking into how Qatar won the right to host the next World Cup.
The 63-year-old was Uefa president from January 2007 – when he replaced the late Lennart Johansson – until he stepped down in 2015 after being banned from football for six years, which was later reduced to four after appealing the sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Qatar was controversially awarded the right to host the 2022 World Cup in 2010, which was announced at the same time as Russia winning the right to stage the 2018 tournament. In 2014, Platini admitted holding a meeting in secret with disgraced former football official Mohamaed Bin Hammam days before casting his vote for Qatar, with the ex-Asian Football Confederation subsequently banned from football for life following an expose by the Sunday Times.
The report also claims that Claude Gueant, who formerly advised ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy as Secretary General, has also been taken in for questioning but has not been arrested.
This article was edited by TheBL.