PARIS (Reuters) – UEFA president Michel Platini, freshly embroiled in the FIFA scandal over a 1.8-million euro payment he received from president Sepp Blatter, called the French sports ministry to insist he had done nothing wrong.
“He has the feeling he is clean and he wanted to say it to me again,” Secretary of State Thierry Braillard told French sports daily L’Equipe on Saturday.
“He explained everything. I fully trust his honesty and his determination to become FIFA president,” he added.
Blatter is under criminal investigation by Swiss authorities but remains in office ahead of a scheduled February election.
Platini is being questioned about a payment of two million Swiss francs he receoved from Blatter but has not been accused of any wrongdoing, although he admitted the development had damaged his chances of replacing Blatter as FIFA president.
French Sports minister Patrick Kanner also gave his support to Platini on Saturday.
“We have not changed our minds on the support we give him. If there was any problem, I do not doubt for a minute that he would have refused to run for FIFA president,” he told L’Equipe.
“His message to us was ‘continue to trust me’. That’s what he wanted to tell us.”
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Chopra)