FIFA have told the suspended Michel Platini that he cannot go straight to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to appeal his eight-year ban from the game, the Frenchman’s lawyers revealed on Tuesday.
The banned UEFA president must wait to receive a notice of what motivated the ethics committee of world football’s governing body to give him his suspension before then going to FIFA’s own appeals committee.
Only if they reject his appeal can he then go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The timetable of such a process means his chances of standing for the FIFA presidency at elections on February 26, even if the ban were overturned, are slim in the extreme.
“Prevented by FIFA from going straight to the CAS, prevented from lodging an appeal against the ban (immediately, internally with FIFA) because we do not yet know the reasons, Michel Platini and his advisors condemn an act of sabotage aimed at stopping him from being elected president of FIFA,” read a statement from the Frenchman’s lawyers.
Platini needed the agreement of FIFA to take his case straight to the CAS.
He is not expected to be informed of the reasons for his ban until early January.
All candidates to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA leader must submit their bids to Domenico Scala, the head of the FIFA electoral commission, by January 26.
In an exclusive interview with AFP on Tuesday, Platini admitted his frustration at the process.
“What is troubling is that I have no certainty about the timetable ahead. As long as I have not had the reasons for the suspension I cannot appeal before the CAS. Without certainty on the timetable, I don’t know how the match will play out.”
Platini’s lawyers added: “It is now up to FIFA to explain how the reasons for refusing to let us go straight to the CAS, as well as the unacceptable delay in explaining their reasons for the ban, can be compatible with the timetable for the presidential election.”
Platini and Blatter were suspended by FIFA’s ethics committee over a 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million/1.8 million euro) payment made to Platini in 2011 for work carried out between 1999 and 2002.
Corruption charges against the two men were dropped by the FIFA court, but they were found guilty of “abusive execution” of their powers and a conflict of interests.