Platini detained in corruption investigation

The French police yesterday detained former star footballer and Uefa president Michel Platini and then released him after several hours of questioning. The arrest came in the course of an investigation into corruption in the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. European media react with resignation rather than surprise.

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Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

Fifa and Qatar won't let anyone steal their show

The World Cup in Qatar should be cancelled, writes football expert Marcello Pelizzari in Corriere del Ticino:

“Neither Russia nor Qatar deserved their victory. But Moscow had its show and no one, not even the freshly elected Fifa president Gianni Infantino, had the goodness to deal with the Qatar problem. ... There's still plenty of time to take the organisation of the World Cup out of Qatar's hands. But Fifa prefers to simply let things run their course: yes, corrupt dealings took place in the awarding of the tournament, and yes, the workers hired to build the stadiums are treated like slaves. But the dice have been rolled and in the end the show, the one on the pitch, will be notable.”

De Telegraaf (NL) /

Football world is rotten to the core

De Telegraaf isn't at all surprised by the arrest:

“Never before have there been so many accusations of corruption at a major football event. Nothing, absolutely nothing, was right about Qatar's bid - and that's how it's been since day one. ... The numerous arrests of football bosses on various continents, the cases of Blatter and Platini, and the suspensions of top managers have shown that the world of football is rotten right up to the highest levels. So no one's surprised by the fact that the French police arrested Platini yesterday. ... Fifa has again stated that it will do everything in its power to support the investigations. But we've heard it all before.”

Večernji list (HR) /

From hero to zero

Platini has done irreparable damage to his reputation as a player with his more recent behaviour, Večernji points out:

“This great footballer has shot numerous own goals. He became Mister Flop and will have a hard time whitewashing his sullied name. His reputation was already tarnished: together with Fifa chief Sepp Blatter he was excluded from football in 2015 after serving as Uefa president for eight years. ... Apparently the lure of money was stronger than the desire to preserve his reputation. He got caught up in a web of corruption that he'll have great diifficulties escaping from. By the looks of things even harder than it was for all those goalkeepers to stop the ball when he shot his exquisite penalty kicks.”