Platini defends $2 million fee from FIFA

UEFA president, Michel Platini, has declared that the two million Swiss francs ($2.1 million) he received from FIFA was a legitimate reward for genuine work.

Platini said that the money was for work he did for FIFA president Sepp Blatter from 1998 to 2002.

The 60-year-old told French newspaper Le Monde he had done nothing wrong and “certainly still wants to” stand in the FIFA presidential election in February.

“It’s shameful to be dragged through the mud like this,” he said.

“I have been suspended for three months, but what annoys me the most is being tarred with the same brush as the others.

“My lawyers are following the FIFA proceedings and will take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if needs be.”

Platini, who has been president of European football’s UEFA since 2007, was tipped to replace the 79-year-old Swiss and still believes he will have enough support to do so.

“I don’t think I have lost many votes with these scandals,” he said.

“People who know me know that I can look myself in the mirror. I don’t like to lose. Especially not on the basis of a scandal that isn’t one.”

FIFA’s ethics committee is looking into the circumstances of a payment of 2m Swiss francs Platini received in 2011 for work said to have been carried out more than nine years previously.