More news surfaced surrounding the dubious upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with former UEFA president Michel Platini arrested by French police as part of an investigation into corruption on Tuesday morning.
The 63 year-old was the head of European football at the time when Qatar was announced as hosts back in December 2010, midway through his eight year term in charge so he was key figure in the awarding of FIFA's showpiece event.
His time as UEFA president came to an end in 2015 when he was eventually banned from all football related activies for four years by the FIFA Ethics Committee. This came following a series of breaches so it'll perhaps come as little surprise to many that he's been detained by police for his role in the most contentious tournament awarding of all time.
He's currently being detained at the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police where he's in store for some very serious questioning. His ban from football expired in March so just as he's been cleared to get back in the game, more news of his dubious past has surfaced so this could have massive implications for him.
The awarding of this tournament has already seen plans for an extended 48 team format get scrapped, alcohol prices soar, LGBT fans worry about their safety with homosexuality illegal, domestic seasons around the world have to change and most shockingly, a massive number of deaths. It's believed that well over 1000 workers, mainly migrants from India and Nepal, have died due to absolutely shocking living and working conditions when constructing the new stadiums around Qatar.
This number could potentially rise to an unprecedented 4000 by the time the tournament kicks-off, so it's truly horrific that FIFA plan to let the tournament go ahead. Something needs to change immediately in order to save these workers, so how on earth is this still going ahead?
Controversy seems to have followed Platini throughout his career in the political side of football and back in 2014, he actually admitted holding a secret meeting with disgraced former President of the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) and Qatar FA, Mohamaed Bin Hammam. This meeting came just days before he was to submit his vote for Qatar and what made this so contentious is that Bin Hammam was later banned from football for life following an investigation from the Sunday Times which revealed his part in the "plot to buy the World Cup".
It's been reported that the pair met up to 50 times whilst serving on FIFA's executive committee, so this really doesn't spell good news for the Frenchmen.
He also worked closely with the controversial Sepp Blatter on the awarding of both Russia 2018 & Qatar 2022, were despite both being cleared of corruption charges, they were eventually found guilty of a series of regulation breaches that included a conflict of interest and a dereliction of duty when a £1.35m "disloyal payment" from Blatter to Platini was discovered back in 2011. Both ended up being slapped with lengthy bans from all football related activities.
Last year he claimed he cleared by Swiss judges and is taking legal action over defamation and false accusation, later declaring "I will come back, where, when, how? It is too early to tell. But I will come back to football.’
You'd think that after all the negativity and controversy that's surrounded Platini over the years, he'd have no career left in football, but he's evidently adamant he will be back. He may have been an absolutely fantastic player, but this detainment, along with the rest of his dubious past is all coming to light which should put him at a point of no return.
It will be interesting to hear the findings from the investigation and hopefully, it will lead to the destination of the 2022 World Cup being moved in order to save all the migrant workers that are under threat. A shocking decision back in 2010 and an absolutely disgusting one now - something HAS to be done.