PARIS (AP) — Banned former UEFA President and FIFA vice president Michel Platini says he is planning to return to soccer after Swiss federal prosecutors confirmed he was not being charged in an investigation into possible financial wrongdoing.
Platini says in a statement it’s “the end of a long nightmare for my family and those close to me.”
Since September 2015, the former France midfielder had the status of “between a witness and an accused person” in criminal proceedings opened against then-FIFA President Sepp Blatter. No criminal case was ever opened against Platini.
The evidence related to Blatter authorizing FIFA to pay Platini $2 million in uncontracted back salary in 2011.
FIFA’s ethics committee also investigated Platini’s request to FIFA for pension contributions he was not entitled to. It was agreed by Blatter and added more than $1 million to Platini’s retirement fund.
Platini was eventually banned for four years, through October 2019. Both he and Blatter denied wrongdoing but Court of Arbitration for Sport judges refused to overturn his ban and that of Blatter’s.
The case meant Platini was removed from the UEFA presidency and he was barred from trying to succeed Blatter as FIFA president in 2016.
Platini, a former France captain and coach, says “I will come back: where, when, how? It’s too early to say. But I will come back into football.
“Because football is my life and I deny anyone the right to deprive me of my life,” the 62-year-old Platini says.