Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 9th 2015 Contents A61
Wednesday, December 9, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Platini pledges to tell 'only
the truth' at FIFA ban appeal
GENEVA --- Michel Platini arrived at the
Court of Arbitration for Sport yesterday
pledging to "tell the truth, only the truth"
at his appeal against a 90-day FIFA ban.
The suspended UEFA president wants
CAS to freeze his ban by Friday, allowing
him to resume campaigning for the FIFA
presidency ahead of the February 26 election.
It would also allow the former France captain
to attend the 2016 European Championship
draw on Saturday in Paris.
Platini was the clear favourite to succeed
Sepp Blatter as FIFA president until they
were quizzed by Swiss authorities on Sep-
tember 25 over a US$2 million payment to
the Frenchman from FIFA in 2011.
Platini and Blatter face possible life bans
when they appear before the FIFA ethics
committee at the governing body's head-
quarters in Zurich next week. The case cen-
ters on the payment and timing of the US$2
million that Blatter approved for Platini in
2011 as backdated salary. Platini was a pres-
idential adviser to Blatter from 1998-2002.
Both deny wrongdoing, but acknowledge
there was only a verbal agreement which
they say is valid under Swiss law.
Still, FIFA was not required to pay Platini
when more than five years elapsed since
the work was completed.
The timing of the payment, which was
not disclosed to the FIFA and UEFA executive
committees, also raised suspicion. It came
as Blatter was preparing for a presidential
election challenge by Mohamed bin Ham-
mam of Qatar. During the campaign, Bin
Hammam said he was ready to discuss a
power-sharing deal with Platini as a con-
dition of securing European votes.
Led by Platini, UEFA urged its voting
members weeks before the June 2011 election
to side with Blatter, who was elected unop-
posed when Bin Hammam was implicated
in a bribery scandal.
Platini could return to CAS in January
for a further appeal if the FIFA ethics com-
mittee sanctions him for offenses ranging
from bribery and conflicts of interest to
breaching confidentiality rules.
He has discussed details of evidence in
the case in media interviews and appeared
to break terms of the ban by entering UEFA
headquarters in Nyon --- for a minute's
silence after terror attacks on Paris --- and
UEFA issuing statements and news updates
on his behalf. The ethics panel has said it
hopes to return verdicts on Platini and Blatter
before Christmas. (AP)
GENEVA---FIFA vice president Juan Angel Napout
has agreed to be extradited to the United States to
face charges in the football bribery case.
Napout, who is from Paraguay, consented to his
extradition at a police hearing on Tuesday, Switzerland's
justice ministry said in a statement.
Of the nine football officials arrested by Swiss
authorities since May at the US Department of Justice's
request, Napout is the quickest to accept extradition.
The president of South American football confed-
eration had fought extradition at a hearing last Thurs-
day, hours after he was arrested in a pre-dawn police
raid at the luxury Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich.
Napout is said to have received bribes worth millions
of dollars from broadcasting rights to the Copa America
and Copa Libertadores tournaments.
The 57-year-old official must be collected by Amer-
ican authorities within 10 days.
"No details concerning when he will be handed
over are to be disclosed for reasons of security and
privacy," the Swiss ministry said.
Napout was suspended from all football duty for
90 days by the FIFA ethics committee last Friday
pending a full investigation.
Napout, who was elected in March, became the
third straight head of the South American confederation
--- following Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay and Eugenio
Figueredo of Uruguay --- to be indicted.
Leoz is fighting extradition from his native country
and Figueredo has been detained in a Zurich-area jail
Napout was arrested Thursday ahead of attending
a FIFA executive committee session which was to
agree on anti-corruption reforms at the scandal-hit
governing body. He faces a range of charges relating
to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering,
and faces a 20-year sentence if convicted.
The multilingual Napout had seemed a part of
FIFA's future as it seeks to emerge from a corruption
"(Napout) sought to portray himself as an agent of
reform, notwithstanding his own long-standing
involvement in the solicitation and receipt of bribe
and kickback payments in exchange for his influence
as a CONMEBOL and FIFA official," the US indictment
stated last Thursday.
Since May, Napout had become a key FIFA power-
broker and strong supporter of Michel Platini's pres-
idential bid before and immediately after his legal
Napout then urged South America to switch support
to another European candidate, Platini's right-hand
man at UEFA, general secretary Gianni Infantino.
Napout agrees to
extradition to US
UEFA President Michel Platini of France
arrives for a hearing at the international
Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS, in
Lausanne, Switzerland, yesterday. AP
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