Sepp Blatter has made an extraordinary claim against the UEFA president Michel Platini. The outgoing FIFA president alleges that Platini warned him he would face prison if he did not step down as FIFA president.
Speaking to Dutch paper de Volkskrant, Blatter claims that the leading candidate to replace Blatter made these comments to Blatter's brother. The FIFA president said he found his brother crying at the FIFA congress in May, where Blatter's re-election was announced. Blatter revealed that he was only told about the exchange after the elections:
During lunch, Platini had sat down at my brother`s table and said: `Tell Sepp to withdraw from the election or he will go to prison`.
You know, there was a time when our relationship was like that of a father and his son.
He worked for me for four years at FIFA, after the 1998 World Cup in France. Together we prepared his board memberships of both UEFA and FIFA. In 2007, he also became president of UEFA, with my direct support.
Platini has rubbished the allegations, describing them as "ridiculous". A statement was released on behalf of Platini:
This complete fabrication is the latest in a series of attempts from Zurich to distract everyone from the problems FIFA is confronted with.
The UEFA president will not dignify these ridiculous allegations with a response.
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