UEFA President Michel Platini has said that a payment he received from FIFA boss Sepp Blatter four years ago was part of a "verbal contract." Platini, who has been banned by FIFA, is still hoping to succeed Blatter.
Speaking in an interview published in Monday's edition of the French newspaper "Le Monde" on Monday, Platini, 60, admitted that he had no written contract for the two million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros, $2-million) paid to him by Blatter in 2011, but that it was still binding.
Platini said he had a "man to man" agreement with Blatter, adding that according to his understanding, under Swiss law "a verbal contract is worth a written contract." FIFA has its headquarters in Zurich and as such is subject to Swiss law.
Blatter, who like Platini has been handed a 90-day suspension by international soccer's governing body, said last week that he had made the payment to Platini in return for consultancy work carried out as late as 2002, as part of a "gentleman's agreement."
"It was implemented. I can't give any more details, the issue is being discussed in two investigations," the 79-year-old Blatter told Swiss media outlet RROTV.
The suspensions imposed on Blatter and Platini were announced after Swiss authorities opened a criminal investigation into corruption allegations surrounding FIFA.
Extraordinary ExCo meeting
Platini's comments come a day ahead of an extraordinary meeting of FIFA's Executive Committee, called to discuss the crisis, which erupted with the arrest of FIFA officials ahead of a congress in Zurich in May, in which Blatter was reelected as the organization's president.
Due to their suspensions, neither man is to be allowed to attend the meeting.
The FIFA congress is currently scheduled to meet on February 26 to elect a successor to Blatter, who announced a few days after his reelection that he intended to step down. Until his suspension, Platini had been regarded as a favorite to become FIFA's next president.
Despite the temporary ban, Platini said he still hoped to get the job.
"I don't think I've lost many votes, and people who know me know I can look at myself in the mirror. I'm bullet-proof," he said.
DFB rejects 'Spiegel' allegations
Meanwhile, the head of Germany's FA, the DFB, has again rejected allegations that the country used illicit payments in its successful bid to win the right to host the 2006 World Cup. Wolfgang Niersbach told reporters on Monday there were "no slush funds, no votes were bought." He was responding to allegations contained in a report recently published by Germany's "Spiegel" newsmagazine. Niersbach also said the DFB was considering taking legal action over the report.
pfd/ (AFP, SID, dpa)