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Michel Platini, former head of UEFA, detained and questioned over shady dealings with FIFA 2022 in Qatar

UEFA President Michel Platini addresses a news conference after a UEFA meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, May 28, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/File Photo

DENVER, Colorado – Michel Platini is being questioned about the possible commitment of crimes including corruption, conspiracy, and influence peddling according to Reuters and The AP.

“His lawyer, William Bourdon, would like to state as strongly as possible that this is not an arrest, but rather being heard as a witness by the investigators within a framework preventing those being questioned and heard from consulting each other during the process,” a statement issued on behalf of Bourdon and Platini read.

Officials with Qatar’s World Cup organising committee said they had no immediate comment.

Under French law, suspects can be held for questioning for up to 48 hours.

Platini was forced to leave his job as UEFA chief after he was investigated in another case over 1.8 million Swiss francs ($1.8 million) that he received from FIFA in 2011. He was cleared in that case.

As a player in the 1970s and 1980s, Platini was a prolific striker, mainly for Saint-Etienne in France and Juventus in Italy.

He played in three world cups, captaining the national squad to the semi-finals in both 1982 and 1986, and leading France to victory in the 1984 European Championship.

Under French law, suspects can be held for questioning for up to 48 hours.

Platini was forced to leave his job as UEFA chief after he was investigated in another case over 1.8 million Swiss francs ($1.8 million) that he received from FIFA in 2011. He was cleared in that case.

As a player in the 1970s and 1980s, Platini was a prolific striker, mainly for Saint-Etienne in France and Juventus in Italy.

He played in three world cups, captaining the national squad to the semi-finals in both 1982 and 1986, and leading France to victory in the 1984 European Championship.

FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, said it was aware of the reports concerning Platini, who is a former FIFA vice-president, but said it had no details on the investigation.

FIFA “reiterates its full commitment to cooperating with the authorities in any given country of the world where investigations are taking place in connection with football activities,” it said in a statement.

The decision in December 2010 to award the World Cup to Qatar surprised many given the lack of potential local audiences for the games, the extremely hot summer weather, and the poor performance of the country’s national squad. It will be the first Arab state to host the competition.

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