BERLIN (Reuters) – UEFA chief Michel Platini must provide more details over a payment of more than $2 million from soccer’s ruling body FIFA and its troubled president Sepp Blatter, German football league (DFL) president Reinhard Rauball said on Thursday.
Platini, president of European soccer’s governing body and until recently the favourite to succeed Blatter, has been in the spotlight since Swiss police placed FIFA’s leader under criminal investigation and accused him of making a “disloyal payment” of two million Swiss francs ($2.05 million) to the Frenchman in 2011.
“Michel Platini must provide credible explanations to the public and football fans of what exactly has happened,” said Rauball, head of the DFL which runs the top two leagues in Germany.
“In his letter … (Platini) wrote a sentence I did not like at all: That he does not want to comment further as it is an ongoing investigation,” he told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Thursday.
“As a private person in a private surrounding he can certainly do that if he feels he needs to protect himself” but Rauball added that he expected “different standards” from a FIFA presidential candidate.
“What Platini has let us know so far is just not enough,” explained Rauball who is also vice-president of the German FA (DFB) and president of Borussia Dortmund.
The payment was allegedly for work deemed to have been performed between January 1999 and June 2002.
Platini said on Monday in a letter to UEFA’s 54 member associations he had been interviewed “not as a person accused of any wrongdoing but simply in my capacity as a person providing information”.
On Tuesday, Swiss authorities said they were treating the former France midfielder as somewhere “between a witness and an accused person”.
Platini and Swiss Blatter deny wrongdoing over the affair, part of a broader scandal that began unfolding in May when 14 soccer officials and marketing executives were indicted in the United States for bribery, money laundering and wire fraud.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Tony Jimenez)