World Cup 2022: Michel Platini says Qatar claims are tarnishing his reputation
UEFA president Michel Platini says claims of corruption against Qatar's World Cup bid are tarnishing his reputation.
Last Updated: 03/06/14 6:49pm
The Daily Telegraph has alleged that the Frenchman held a secret meeting with Mohamed Bin Hammam, the man at the centre of the scandal, shortly before FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
It said the disgraced former FIFA vice-president "personally lobbied Mr Platini to support the emirate's bid".
Qatar bid officials have denied any wrongdoing and say Bin Hammam played no official or unofficial role in their bid, while Platini also insists there was nothing untoward about their meeting.
"I'm no longer astonished by the spreading of unfounded rumours aimed at tarnishing my image at an important moment for the future of football," said Platini.
"Nothing surprises me any longer.
"I find it incredible that talks with a FIFA executive committee member colleague at the time can be transformed into a state conspiracy.
"I certainly met Mr Mohamed Bin Hammam several times in 2010 as we were both of us executive committee members since 2002.
"In these conversations, the object of the discussions was the candidacy for the FIFA presidency.
"Mr Bin Hammam was in fact seeking to convince me to stand for the FIFA presidency in the 2011 elections."
The former France midfielder recalled that he was the only FIFA executive committee member to publicly declare that he voted for Qatar in the vote in December 2010.
"That's proof of my total transparency, and that no one has dictated my behaviour," said Platini, who may challenge Sepp Blatter as boss of FIFA next year.