France football legend and the banned former UEFA President Michel Platini, has been arrested over the controversial vote which handed the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. The detention of Platini is the first substantial public move in an investigation that opened two years ago by France’s Parquet National Financier (PNF). The arrest comes five years after it was disclosed that Platini, held meetings with the disgraced former Asian football official Mohammed Bin Hammam before the vote.
Qatar was controversially awarded the right to host the 2022 World Cup over competing nations South Korea, America, Australia and Japan in 2010. Platini was on previously part of the FIFA World Cup organising committee.
According to the UK-based worldwide daily, The Telegraph, Platini said that he found it “astonishing” that “conversations with a fellow member of the FIFA Executive Committee could suddenly be transformed into a matter of state. He further stated, “I have obviously met with Mr. Mohamed Bin Hammam on many occasions in 2010 as we were both members of the same FIFA Executive Committee since 2002.”
Platini was all set to vote for the United States. But he confirmed that he changed his mind after a November 2010 meeting, hosted by then-President Nicolas Sarkozy at his official residence in Paris and Qatar’s crown prince, now Emir, Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani. Two former Sarkozy aides – Sophie Dion, his then sports adviser, and Claude Gueant, the former secretary general of the Elysee – were also questioned along with Platini.