Michel Platini, a former UEFA president, who was arrested and detained on Tuesday over suspected criminal investigation into awarding Qatar the hosting right of the 2022 World Cup, has been released.
Platini, who led UEFA from 2007 to 2015, was held by French anti-corruption police, who are investigating the alleged corruption into the 2010 vote that determined the gas-rich Gulf state as the winner of the bid for the mundial.
The football legend has, however, denied wrongdoing. In a statement by his representatives, the French great said the facts of the case were “unknown to him.”
William Bourdon, his lawyer, announced early on Wednesday, that his client had been released without charge, adding that there has been “a lot of fuss over nothing”.
Platini, 63, looked “perplexed”, as he left the police anti-corruption office in Nanterre, western Paris suburbs, according to reports.
“It was long but considering the number of questions, it could only belong, since I was asked about Euro 2016, the World Cup in Russia, the World Cup in Qatar, Fifa,” he told reporters.
The decision to name Qatar as 2022 World Cup hosts, has long triggered allegations of corruption that ultimately led to FIFA’s worst ever scandal.
France’s Office of the Financial Crimes Prosecutor (PNF), opened a preliminary investigation in 2016 into allegations of corruption, conspiracy and influence peddling, surrounding the Qatar vote and the award of the 2018 World Cup to Russia.
According to Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president at the time, Qatar won hosting rights as a result of a deal with France, derailing FIFA’s own “diplomatic arrangement” whereby hosting rights would have gone to Russia in 2018 and then to the United States four years later.