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Mar 22, 2012

Platini still waiting for Richards apology

UEFA president Michel Platini has yet to receive an apology from Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards after his comments that FIFA and UEFA "stole" football from England.

• Richards launches rant at FIFA
• British FIFA vice-presidency may end

Last week, former Sheffield Wednesday chairman Richards launched an astonishing rant at UEFA and FIFA before falling into a fountain shortly after making his comments.

Richards said: "England gave the world football. It gave the best legacy anyone could give. We gave them the game. For 50 years, we owned the game. We were the governance of the game. We wrote the rules, designed the pitches and everything else.

"Then, 50 years later, some guy came along and said you're liars and they actually stole it. It was called FIFA. Fifty years later, another gang came along called UEFA and stole a bit more."

He swiftly issued a statement apologising for "any offence caused", and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said on Tuesday that the chairman had rung those he may have personally offended.

But Platini said on Thursday: "I read in an English media outlet he was going to send an email - maybe the email got lost in the corridors of UEFA but I never saw it.

"What he said was slightly surprising because I know Mr Richards' ingenuity. He said football was stolen from England and that a gang has done this. We are not a gang at UEFA and the English are so generous they have given football to the entire planet.

"Football now belongs to the whole world and I want to thank England for their gift to the world."

Richards had been due in Istanbul to due to sign a contract with UEFA in his capacity as chairman of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL).

The memorandum of understanding between the EPFL and UEFA was instead signed by Sergey Pryadkin, the president of the Russian Premier League.

Platini added: "I don't know the reasons that motivated the president of the EPFL not to come. What was important was to have the contract with the EPFL signed."

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