UEFA president Michel Platini criticizes FIFA over watch probe

Friday September 19th, 2014

UEFA president Michel Platini criticized FIFA for publicly calling out officials who accepted gifts at the 2014 World Cup. 

FIFA demanded that officials return luxury watches by Oct. 24 or face possible disciplinary action.  

• FIFA won't give verdict of World Cup corruption probe until next spring

Platini, also a FIFA vice president, said he isn’t giving back his watch but will instead donate $27,000, the estimated value of the watch, to charity.  

"I was very surprised by the FIFA press release. I think that the best thing would have been to call us, to say that the ethics committee has done so-and-so and they're not pleased," Platini said, according to the Associated Press. "But if the ethics committee was not pleased, they should have told us that four months ago in Brazil, when we received the watches."

The Brazilian soccer federation handed out 65 gift bags with the watches to members of the FIFA Executive Committee, a representative from all 32 teams that qualified for the World Cup and other South American soccer officials at the pre-World Cup congress.

Platini said he was surprised about the value of the watch, but also that he doesn’t return gifts.

 - Scooby Axson

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