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Ex-UEFA chief Johansson denies knowledge of Blatter-Platini payment

MichelPlatiniLennartJohansson - cropped Michel Platini and Lennart Johansson (source: Getty Images)

Former UEFA president Lennart Johansson says he was never informed of the alleged payment made by Sepp Blatter to Michel Platini that lies at the heart of the latest FIFA corruption scandal.

Outgoing FIFA president Blatter and his UEFA counterpart Platini were provisionally suspended by the Ethics Committee of world football’s governing body for 90 days on Thursday.

Blatter is the subject of a criminal investigation from the Swiss attorney general into an alleged “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011, widely reported to be £1.35m relating to work the former France captain undertook for FIFA between 1999 and 2002.

Johansson, who was UEFA president between 1990 and 2007 and stood unsuccessfully against Blatter for the top job at FIFA in 1998, told InsideWorldFootball his organisation was not informed of Blatter and Platini’s financial arrangement.

“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,” Johansson 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 was succeeded at UEFA by Platini, but continued to attend executive meetings as an honorary president. During this time, he also said that the payment from Blatter to Platini was not disclosed.

The 85-year-old added: “I would have expected this payment to be reported to UEFA. Platini should have mentioned it to the 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’.”

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