The Football Association (FA) has suspended its support for Michel Platini’s bid to become FIFA president pending the outcome of an investigation by world football’s governing body.
UEFA president Platini was provisionally suspended for 90 days by FIFA last week, along with the organisation’s outgoing president Sepp Blatter.
The suspensions relate to a criminal investigation into an alleged “disloyal payment” made by Blatter to Platini in 2011, with the former France international named as a person of interest by the Swiss attorney general. This is also part of a FIFA Ethics Committee investigation.
UEFA released a statement last week confirming that Platini retained the organisation’s collective support and on Thursday called for the investigation to be concluded by mid-November, with the new FIFA president set to be elected next February.
In a statement released on its official website, the FA backed UEFA’s stance on Platini’s right to due process, but confirmed that it would suspend its support for his candidacy after it “learnt more information relating to the issues at the centre of the case from Mr Platini’s lawyers”.
The FA statement read: “The FA supports the statement issued by UEFA on Thursday 15 October concerning the ethics case against Michel Platini.
“This statement expressed respect for the significant work performed by Mr Platini at UEFA, requested that he be afforded due process in contesting the charges, and encouraged the relevant bodies involved to reach a final decision on the merits of the case by mid-November.
“The FA wishes Mr Platini every success in fighting these charges and clearing his name, and has no interest in taking any action that jeopardises this process. However, notwithstanding the above, at the UEFA meeting on Thursday, the FA learnt more information relating to the issues at the centre of this case from Mr Platini’s lawyers.
“We have been instructed that the information must be kept confidential and therefore we cannot go into specifics.
“As a result of learning this information, the FA Board has on Friday morning concluded that it must suspend its support for Mr Platini’s candidature for the FIFA presidency until the legal process has been concluded and the position is clear.
“A decision can then be taken on who to support in the presidential election on 26 February 2016.”