Michel Platini has been questioned in relation to the award of 2022’s World Cup to Qatar.
Platini, who was UEFA president between 2007 and 2015, was taken to the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police as part of an investigation into Qatar’s winning bid for the World Cup in 2022.
A statement issued by his lawyer read: “Michel Platini, after being heard in the same investigation in open court last year, is now questioned under the regime of custody for technical reasons.
“His counsel, Mr William Bourdon, strongly asserts that this is in no way an arrest, but a hearing as a witness in the context desired by the investigators, a framework that prevents all persons heard, then confronted, can not confer outside the procedure.
“Michel Platini expressed himself serenely and precisely, answering all the questions, including those on the conditions for the awarding of Euro 2016, and has provided useful explanations.
“He has nothing to do to with this event which doesn’t concern him at all and is totally foreign to facts that go beyond him.
“He is absolutely confident about what’s next.”
A FIFA spokesperson added: "FIFA reiterates its full commitment to co-operating with the authorities in any given country of the world where investigations are taking place in connection with football activities."
The decision to award Qatar the tournament was made back in 2010 but a string of controversies has since emerged with both former FIFA vice-president Platini and former president Sepp Blatter being arrested in 2015, as part of an investigation into corruption.
They were both cleared of corruption charges at the time but subsequently found guilty of other breaches - including a £1.35million ‘disloyal payment’ from Blatter to Platini in 2011.
Platini was banned from football for eight years over those ethic breaches, reduced to four following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The ban expires this October and both Blatter and the three-time Ballon d’Or winner have persistently denied any wrongdoing.
The French authorities have also arrested Sophie Dion, a former adviser of ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and questioned Claude Gueant, Sarkozy’s ex-chief of staff.
Sarkozy’s support for Qatar World Cup bid has been the subject of considerable speculation for several years and it is understood the French authorities want to know what promises were made at a lunch at the French premier’s Elysee Palace on November 23, 2010 – 10 days before the FIFA vote.
At that lunch were Platini, Sarkozy, the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad al Thani and Qatar’s former prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Hamad Ben Jassim.
It is no secret that Sarkozy was eager to foster close economic links with Qatar, but the investigation is also looking into the June 2011 deal that saw Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund the French leader’s favourite football team, Paris St Germain, and the subsequent launch of BeIN Sports, the Doha-based media company run by PSG’s chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi. Al-Khelaifi has denied any wrongdoing.
Additional reporting by PA
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