Saturday 24 October 2020

Van Praag calls for football to clean up its act in wake of Blatter scandal

Michael van Praag, vice-chairman of UefaThe chairman of the Dutch football association has said the sport’s governing bodies must clean up their act following the suspensions of Fifa president Sepp Blatter and his Uefa counterpart Michel Platini.

Michael van Praag said the strong punishments showed that Fifa had the capacity to put its house in order and pressed for anti-corruption measures to be put in place.

Blatter and Platini were both banned from all football-related activities for eight years following an ethics committee inquiry into a €1.8m ‘disloyal payment’ made by Blatter to Platini in 2011.

The 79-year-old Swiss and 60-year-old former French national team captain were also fined €37,000 and €73,000 respectively.

In a statement, the KNVB described the development as ‘the latest low point in the activities and the perception of Fifa in particular, but also Uefa, because of Platini’s personal involvement’.


Van Praag, who is vice-president of Uefa, said there was a momentum for change in the way world and European football was governed. ‘But we need to follow through on that front,’ AD reported him as saying.

‘I can see a number of real intentions on Fifa’s agenda to clean up and modernise the organisation. I am pleased to recognise more or less the whole of the plan I put forward during my campaign to become Fifa chairman. I have confidence that when Fifa’s internal elections are held on February 26, that plan will be implemented.’

Van Praag declined to say what Platini’s suspension would mean for Uefa. ‘On January 21 we have a board meeting and any vacancy that arises as a result of Platini’s departure will probably be discussed then,’ he said.

Blatter has dismissed the tribunal process as a ‘masquerade’ and he had been used as ‘a punching ball’ for the problems of world football. Both men said they intend to appeal to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration in Sport.

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