FIFA, UEFA unaware of Platini deal

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Berlin - FIFA and UEFA were never told about a payment of around $2 million to UEFA president Michel Platini, the former head of the European football body Lennart Johansson has said

Johannson is quoted as saying by the website Inside World Football Tuesday the payment to Platini from FIFA president Joseph Blatter was not declared by Blatter to FIFA's executive committee or disclosed to the UEFA executive committee.

Johannson also questioned the timing of the payment in February 2011 for work said to have been carried out between 1999 and 2002. Platini did not stand against Blatter in the election for FIFA president that year. UEFA backed Blatter, who was being challenged by Asian confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Asked whether the payment was a bribe, Johansson is quoted as saying: "It must be. I mean that's exactly what it points at. Why should he have money paid at that moment, at that time of the year, and then not reporting it to the UEFA executive? He is the UEFA president."

Platini and Blatter have been provisionally suspended for 90 days by FIFA's ethics committee, with Blatter under criminal investigation by Swiss prosecutors who are probing the payment to Platini.

Both Blatter and Platini have denied any wrongdoing.

Swede Johansson, 85, who was UEFA president from 1990 to 2007, said the FIFA executive committee, which he served on, was not told about Platini's work for Blatter.

"I was a member of the FIFA executive then and Blatter should have reported it to the executive but he never did. I never heard about this arrangement in FIFA," he said.

"This is quite a lot of money, not a small amount. I have only learnt through the media that Platini claims that he has a contract with FIFA."

Johansson said "Platini should have mentioned it" to the UEFA executive.

"I would have done so. I would have said to the executive, 'I have a contract with Blatter which you may criticise. But this is the truth, this is the money I received and you should know about it', " he said.

UEFA's 54 member associations will meet in Nyon, Switzerland on Thursday to discuss developments in the affair.

Platini is hoping to succeed Blatter as FIFA president at an extraordinary FIFA congress in Zurich on February 26 but is coming under increasing pressure as a result of the Swiss criminal investigation into Blatter.

UEFA executive committee member Allan Hansen, the former head of the Danish Football Association, has told Danish media if Platini cannot prove the payment was legitimate he "can no longer support him."

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