Michel Platini takes appeal against four-year ban to European court
PARIS, FRANCE -- Banned former FIFA vice president Michel Platini has taken his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
Platini, who was banned by the FIFA ethics committee for financial wrongdoing while running for president of world football's governing body, told the Associated Press he wanted his suspension lifted.
The ex-UEFA president was initially banned for eight years in December 2015 after the committee ruled he was not entitled to $2 million in backdated salary he was paid in 2011 for working as adviser to then-FIFA President Sepp Blatter between 1998 and 2002.
That suspension was cut to six years by the FIFA appeals committee, then to four by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
But in his email to the Associated Press, 62-year-old Platini wrote: "I want justice back. I haven't done anything wrong.
"I want my integrity to be acknowledged. With this plea to the European Court of Human Rights, I am contesting all of the sanctions from FIFA and CAS. I will not give up."
In July, Switzerland's supreme court dismissed an appeal by Platini against his four-year ban.
Platini and Blatter claimed they had a verbal agreement over the lump sum but were banned by FIFA for a conflict of interest. The evidence included Blatter's attempt to increase Platini's FIFA pension fund with more than $1 million he was not entitled to.
The case removed Platini from the UEFA presidency and the February 2016 FIFA election to succeed Blatter.
"I consider myself to be a victim, not only of an injustice, but also a political conspiracy by FIFA to stop me becoming president of this institution," Platini said.
"I was a threat for the positions, the interests and the privileges of many people in FIFA."
Platini, a celebrated midfielder with France and Juventus during his heyday as a player in the 1980s, is suspended until October 2019.
He said he had been approached to do television work for this year's World Cup in Russia, but was not in a position to accept.
"I have received some offers, but I remind you that I'm banned from working in football by FIFA," he said.