UEFA president Michel Platini insists he has no regrets about supporting Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup but says there should be a re-vote and sanctions if corruption is proved.
Platini’s name has been dragged into the furore surrounding payments authorised by former Fifa member Mohamed Bin Hammam to officials in Africa, allegedly to gain support for Qatar’s bid.
The Uefa chief however believes he is the target of a plot to discredit him.
He said in an interview with L’Equipe: “I have no regrets at all [voting for Qatar]. I think it was the right choice for Fifa and world football. But if corruption is proven, there will need to be a new vote and sanctions.”
Asked about the attacks on him, he added: “Behind it all, there is someone, something, people who are organising all this. . . I can sense it. But I don’t work like that. I think about football. Some people think about something else.”
Asked if Fifa might be behind these attacks – he is deciding whether to run for the Fifa presidency next year, Platini added: “I don’t have any proof whatsoever. Especially as I don’t play at that level. I’m not corrupt, my aim is not to hurt people.
“But I think there are lots of interests at stake, for people at Fifa, for people who want to go there and for people who are hoping to be there one day. And no doubt there are also interests of some parties who sell and buy TV rights who want to review the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. I seem to be the person who is upsetting them. It’s getting a bit much. But, when I am under attack, I become much stronger and more determined. But that won’t affect my decision [whether to run].”
Platini added that he did not believe any Fifa members had been paid to vote for Qatar but that he would wait for the outcome of ethics investigator Michael Garcia’s inquiry.