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Sports tribunal backs Platini suspension

Michel Platini had been favourite to take over as FIFA president in a February election, but the UEFA leader is suspended because of the Swiss investigation. PHOTO/AFP

Michel Platini had been favourite to take over as FIFA president in a February election, but the UEFA leader is suspended because of the Swiss investigation. PHOTO/AFP

LAUSSANE, December 11- The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) on Friday maintained a 90-day suspension from international football against Michel Platini, in a new blow to the Frenchman’s hopes of entering the FIFA presidential race.

The CAS panel “determined that maintaining the provisional suspension for the remainder of the 90 days does not cause irreparable harm to Michel Platini at this point in time,” a court statement said.

Platini, the head of Europe’s UEFA confederation and a FIFA vice president, had been considered favourite to take over as the world body’s leader until he was named in a Swiss criminal investigation.

FIFA suspended Platini and FIFA president Sepp Blatter for 90 days shortly after.

CAS noted that even if the ban were lifted, there was no guarantee that FIFA’s ethics committee would confirm Platini as a candidate in the FIFA race.

CAS however ordered FIFA not to extend the provisional suspension, as that would “constitute an undue and unjustified restriction of Michel Platini’s right of access to justice.”

Platini has been named in a Swiss criminal investigation targeting Blatter over a two million Swiss franc ($2 million) payment from FIFA.

FIFA’s ethics investigators have called for the ex-Juventus star to be banned for life, with world football’s in-house court expected to rule on the case by the end of the year.

That verdict could level a final, crushing blow to Platini’s career as a football executive.

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Platini’s 90-day ban expires on January 5.

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