UEFA president Michel Platini backed by FFF chief over FIFA scandal
French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet has reaffirmed his backing for suspended UEFA chief Michel Platini by insisting he is still the "right man" for the job.
On Thursday, Platini was provisionally suspended by FIFA's Ethics Committee along with FIFA president Sepp Blatter in the wake of a Swiss criminal investigation.
The 90-day suspensions for the pair were imposed after the Swiss authorities started investigating a payment from world football's governing body to Platini in 2011 for work carried out at least nine years earlier.
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The former France international, who is a candidate to succeed Blatter next year, slammed the turn of events as "farcical" and rejected allegations made against him.
Speaking to BFM TV, Le Graet was keen to lend support to his compatriot.
"I don't know the full details of the case," he said. "But frankly, Platini is the right man for the job. This suspension seems to me to be extremely hasty."
Le Graet accepted that the decision to suspend Platini had complicated things but maintained that his candidacy for FIFA president should not be called into question as a result.
"It's up to him to decide if he's a candidate," Le Graet said.
For its front page on Friday, L'Equipe ran the headline "FIFAgate: Fall With Me" alongside an archive photo of Blatter with his arm around Platini. Le Parisien's front page suggested that the ex-Juventus midfielder had been shown a "red card" by authorities.
However, Thierry Braillard, the French Secretary of State for Sport, also offered his backing to Platini.
"The only thing I can say to you is that I believe in his honesty, his integrity and the determination of Michel Platini to become president of FIFA," Braillard told reporters.