Michel Platini, the former UEFA president, and European Championship-winning French football legend was arrested on June 18 in Nanterre, a western suburb of Paris, over suspicions of corruption in the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. The former French captain was elected as the President of UEFA in 2007, following which he was banned by the FIFA Ethics Committee in 2015.
Platini was reportedly taken to the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police premises over allegations of corruption that have been making the rounds ever since Qatar was awarded the opportunity to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup, according to media reports.
Platini and Sepp Blatter, the former FIFA president who was the president of football’s world governing body when Russia and Qatar won their respective World Cup hosting rights, were both cleared of corruption charges in 2015, but were found guilty of a series of regulation breaches that included conflict of interest and dereliction of duty when a 2 million Swiss francs “disloyal payment” from Blatter to Platini in 2011 was discovered. Both were handed long bans from all football-related activities.
Many have voiced their concerns including over human rights and the status of homosexuality, among other reasons, over the decision to select the Arab nation to host the cup.
In 2014, Platini admitted to holding a secret meeting with the disgraced football official Mohamed Bin Hammam, shortly before casting his vote for Qatar.
A source close to the former UEFA chief at the time said that Platini said he had met the Qatar football official for breakfast in a hotel in Switzerland, just a few days before the controversial decision was made, according to media reports.
It was further alleged that the two men had met 30 to 50 times, as both sat on the decision-making committee for FIFA.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy's adviser Claude Guéant was also taken into questioning for his alleged involvement.