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Former UEFA President Michel Platini Arrested Over Awarding of 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar

The 2022 tournament has been blighted by allegations of corruption since Qatar was controversially named host in 2010.

News18 Sports

Updated:June 18, 2019, 2:42 PM IST
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Former UEFA President Michel Platini Arrested Over Awarding of 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar
Michel Platini was elected in 2007 and served as UEFA president until 2015. (Getty Images)
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French footballing legend Michel Platini, the former president of UEFA and head of European football, has been arrested over the decision to award the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar.

The former France international captain was detained by French police from Nanterre, a western suburb of Paris, as part of the investigation into corruption surrounding how the 2022 World Cup hosting rights were awarded, French investigative outlet Mediapart reported.

Platini was elected in 2007 and served as president until 2015, when the FIFA Ethics Committee banned him for six years. The ban was later reduced to four years, but investigators leading the fight against corruption within football have arrested him as part of the case.

The 63-year-old was on Tuesday reportedly taken to the premises of the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police. Claude Gueant, the former secretary general under President Nicolas Sarkozy, is also being questioned as a ‘free suspect’.

The 2022 tournament has been blighted by allegations of corruption since it was controversially named host in 2010.

A number have issues have cropped up regarding the decision to select the peninsular Arab country as the host nation, including human rights concerns and the status of homosexuality among others.

The soaring summer heat in the country was also an immediate concern, which led to the tournament being shifted to the winter, a huge departure from tradition.

In 2014, Platini admitted holding a secret meeting with the disgraced football official Mohamed Bin Hammam, shortly before casting his vote for Qatar.

Platini was on the 1998 Fifa World Cup organising committee, and joined the Fifa executive committee in 2002 until he received his ban.

Since the vote in favour of Qatar, of the 24 members of the executive committee of FIFA, 16 have been struck off, suspended or remain under investigation.

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