Ex-UEFA President Arrested Over Awarding Qatar 2022 World Cup
Michel Platini

Former UEFA President Michel Platini was released from custody on Wednesday after hours of questioning in connection with a criminal investigation into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

Platini who led European football’s governing body from 2007 to 2015 was arrested on Tuesday by French anti-corruption police investigating alleged corruption in the 2010 vote to award the competition to the gas-rich Gulf state.

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He denied wrongdoing and a statement from his representatives said the facts of the case were “unknown to him.”

In the early hours of Wednesday, Platini’s lawyer William Bourdon said he had been released without charge, adding that there has been “a lot of fuss over nothing”.

Platini looked drawn as he left the police anti-corruption office in Nanterre in the western Paris suburbs.

“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 triggered allegations of corruption that ultimately sparked 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 also the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia.