Suspended UEFA chief Michel Platini’s dream of becoming FIFA President is finally over.
Platini announced to The Associated Press on Thursday that he is withdrawing his name from the Presidential race to concentrate more on overturning his eight year ban handed down by FIFA’s ethics committee last month.
“I’m withdrawing from the race for FIFA presidency,” Platini told the Associated Press in an interview.
“The timing is not good for me. I don’t have the means to fight on equal terms with the other candidates. I have not been given the chance to play the game. Bye bye FIFA, bye bye FIFA presidency.”
Though Sepp Blatter and Platini were cleared of corruption charges, they were both banned for eight years last month by FIFA’s ethics committee for conflict of interest in the 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million) payment deal that is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.
The now suspended UEFA chief was bidding to take football’s top job from his mentor Blatter.
FOX Sports reports that Platini still hopes to clear his name at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Talking about the ban, the 60 year old Frenchman said: “I’ve spent more time in hearing rooms than on football pitches speaking about 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 or football news. I’m taking this philosophically, let’s wait and see what happens. But injustice is revolting me and I’m trying to fight it.”
Platini who worked at FIFA as Blatter’s special adviser from 1998 to 2002 defended himself saying that he has done no wrong, reports FOX Sports: “I can’t have any regret in that story because things fell upon my head while I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“I’m struggling to understand what happened, unless there was a will somewhere to prevent me from bidding.”
“Many national federations wanted me as president. I had 150 associations thinking that I’m the right person to solve FIFA’s problems. It won’t happen. But there is no age limitation, so maybe I’ll come back in 20 years. Who knows?,” he added.
“I’ve done what I needed to do. I have nothing to reproach myself with. I think they are making me pay for being UEFA president, I think the Zurich administration does not wish someone from UEFA to head FIFA. Because we are beautiful, we are big, we are rich, and we are the strongest.”