Suspicions arose after Qatar was granted the right to host the 2022 World Cup.
By Abdessamd El Baz
The ex-captain of the French football team had been serving a 4-year ban from all football-related activities after receiving a $2 million payment from International Federation of Association Football (FIFA).
The investigation, which led to Platinis arrest, was opened in 2016. The former UEFA president was investigated on criminal charges relating to “private corruption,” “criminal conspiracy,” “influence peddling and trading in influence” over 2022 Qatar World Cup, according to the French newspaper Le Monde.
Investigators are particularly interested “in the lunch organized on 23 November 2010 at the Elysee, in the presence of Nicolas Sarkozy, Michel Platini, the current Emir of Qatar, Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani, Sheikh Hamad Ben Jassem, then Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Emirate,” reported Le Monde.
Sepp Blatter, former FIFA president, said in an interview with TRT World, that Platini’s decision to grant Qatar the 2022 World Cup was influenced by French Politics.
Blatter claimed that Platini met with the then President Nicolas Sarkozy and several Qatari officials at a lunch prior to announcing the decision that Qatar would host the World Cup in 2020.
Michel Platini previously told Le Monde “I knew I was going to vote for Qatar before lunch and I went to see Nicolas Sarkozy to tell him. I did not know that the Qataris would be there.”
In 2015, Sepp Blatter announced his resignation as FIFA president amid bribery scandals.
In the same year, the US Justice Department issued several indictments against multiple individuals and organizations for corruption scandals.
The former head of the IRS criminal investigation division, Richard Weber, said: “This really is the World Cup of fraud, and today we are issuing FIFA a red card.”