Aleksander Ceferin set for re-election as UEFA president
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Aleksander Ceferin is set to be re-elected unopposed as UEFA president.
The Slovenian was elected in September 2016 to complete the four-year term of Michel Platini, who was banned by world soccer's ruling body FIFA for financial misconduct.
European soccer's governing body UEFA says the deadline for candidates ahead of the election in February passed on Wednesday and no challengers entered the contest.
Michel Platini files lawsuit in France in FIFA case
PARIS (AP) — Convinced he was the victim of a plot, former UEFA president Michel Platini has filed a lawsuit in France in a bid to prove that former FIFA officials conspired to get him banned from soccer.
Platini's communications team told The Associated Press on Friday that the former France great has filed the suit. The Le Monde newspaper reported that Platini filed a complaint for "slanderous denunciation" and "criminal conspiracy to commit the offense of slanderous denunciation."
For many, the 1982 semifinal match between France and West Germany is the greatest World Cup game of them all.
It had everything — goals, high drama, arguably the worst foul in the tournament's history and, for the first time at the World Cup, a penalty shootout.
PARIS (AP) — Banned former UEFA President and FIFA vice president Michel Platini says he is planning to return to soccer after Swiss federal prosecutors confirmed he was not being charged in an investigation into possible financial wrongdoing.
Platini says in a statement it's "the end of a long nightmare for my family and those close to me."
GENEVA (AP) — France soccer great Michel Platini insists "a little trickery" in the 1998 World Cup draw ensured his home country would avoid playing Brazil until the final which it won in Paris.
Not so, according to Sepp Blatter, who as FIFA's then CEO-like general secretary conducted the draw in Marseille in December 1997.
PARIS (AP) — Henri Michel, who played for France at the World Cup and later coached the team to the semifinals at the 1986 tournament, has died. He was 70.
France's Professional Footballers Association wrote on Twitter that Michel died Tuesday morning.
Michel was an accomplished midfielder who played almost his entire career at Nantes and helped the club win three French league titles. He played 58 times for France, including two games at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.
Banned ex-FIFA head Blatter backs Morocco 2026 World Cup bid
Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter has endorsed Morocco's 2026 World Cup bid while banned from soccer roles for financial misconduct.
Blatter tweeted on Thursday that "Morocco would be the logical host! And it is time for Africa again!"
Blatter hints at new evidence to challenge 6-year FIFA ban
GENEVA (AP) — Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter claims to have "new facts" and wants to re-open the financial misconduct case that led to his six-year ban.
"As new facts have appeared it's time to question the decision of the Fifa Ethics-Committee — my suspension of 6 years!" Blatter said Friday on his reactivated Twitter account.
Asked by The Associated Press for details of potential evidence, Blatter spokesman Thomas Renggli replied in a message: "We are working on it."
Banned Platini appealing to European Court of Human Rights
PARIS (AP) — Still trying to clear his name, Michel Platini has taken his appeal against a ban from soccer to the European Court of Human Rights.
Platini, the former France great who was banned by the FIFA ethics committee for financial wrongdoing while he was running for president of the world soccer body, told The Associated Press in an email that he wants his suspension lifted.
Russia glad to welcome Blatter, Platini as World Cup guests
MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia "would be glad" to see banned former soccer leaders Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini in Russia next year at the World Cup.
Though banned from soccer duty for six and four years, respectively, Blatter and Platini were the presidents of FIFA and UEFA when Russia won the 2018 hosting contest seven years ago.
FIFA ethics rules allow Blatter and Platini to attend games but not engage in official soccer business.
Platini’s biggest fan earns soccer memorabilia records
MOSFILOTI, Cyprus (AP) — Michel Platini's No. 1 fan lives in Cyprus.
The Guinness World Records has made it official.
A Cypriot man who idolizes the French soccer great has clinched two entries in the annual book for his stash of photos, jerseys, shoes, balls and more centered on Platini.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Switzerland's supreme court has dismissed an appeal by former FIFA vice president Michel Platini against his four-year ban for financial wrongdoing.
The Swiss Federal Tribunal says the ban imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport "does not appear to be manifestly excessive."
The federal court is the fourth to find Platini was not entitled to $2 million in backdated salary in 2011 for working as Sepp Blatter's presidential adviser from 1998-2002.
Ooh la la! Cypriot renews Platini memorabilia record bid
MOSFILOTI, Cyprus (AP) — A Cypriot fan of former soccer player and administrator Michel Platini renewed a bid Sunday to be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for the biggest collection of Platini memorabilia.
Philippos Stavrou Platini — yes, he legally adopted his sports hero's surname — said he has nearly doubled the number of items he owns from the Frenchman's days as a player and as president of European soccer's governing body, UEFA, to 41,630.
PRAGUE (AP) — There are only a few countries in Europe that would be able to host a 48-team World Cup, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said Tuesday.
FIFA decided in January to expand its biggest event from 32 to 48 teams for the 2026 tournament.
Speaking during a visit to the Czech soccer federation's headquarters, Ceferin pointed out that it will be hard to find many countries capable of providing a dozen suitable stadiums to host the tournament.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Sepp Blatter was "reckless" when he paid $2 million to Michel Platini in a transaction that led both to be banned from world soccer, according to a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling.
The former FIFA president also bypassed the body's executive committee to extend Platini's pension plan by four years — unlawfully adding more than $1 million to the former UEFA president's retirement fund.
Sepp Blatter loses appeal at CAS against 6-year FIFA ban
GENEVA (AP) — Sepp Blatter lost his appeal against a six-year ban by FIFA on Monday, and now has more serious legal cases lined up against him.
Blatter said in a statement it was "difficult" to accept the Court of Arbitration for Sport's verdict, but that "the way the case progressed, no other verdict could be expected."
Blatter appeal verdict to be announced Monday by CAS
The verdict in former FIFA President Sepp Blatter's appeal against a six-year ban for unethical conduct will be announced on Monday.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Friday it will publish the ruling at 3 p.m. Swiss time (1400 GMT).
Blatter has repeatedly denied wrongdoing in authorizing a $2 million payment to Michel Platini in 2011. They claimed it was uncontracted salary for France great Platini advising Blatter from 1999 to 2002.
UEFA’s Ceferin tackles dangers in Europe, integrity attacks
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Entering rooms at UEFA headquarters, Aleksander Ceferin still finds it startling and unsettling when staff leap from their seats to greet him. The deference of the Michel Platini era is proving hard to shake off for the officials running European football.
"I don't pretend to be a king here," Ceferin says at the start of an interview with The Associated Press at the UEFA complex by the banks of Lake Geneva.
UEFA president to hold talks on payoff for banned Platini
LONDON (AP) — Michel Platini is yet to discover whether he will receive a payoff from European soccer's governing body despite his UEFA presidential term being cut short by a FIFA ban.
The former France captain's third four-year term was due to run until 2019, but he was first suspended from UEFA duties last October and his presidential replacement was elected last week.
Platini insists conscience clear in farewell speech to UEFA
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Michel Platini insisted his conscience was clear and he would continue the fight to overturn a FIFA ban in a farewell speech on Wednesday to European soccer leaders before his successor as UEFA president was elected.
Platini was allowed by FIFA's ethics judge to deliver the UEFA congress address as a "gesture of humanity," despite serving a four-year suspension from any role in soccer over an improper payment.
Platini era ends as UEFA elects little-known Ceferin as head
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Michel Platini reluctantly handed over the reins of power in European soccer to Aleksander Ceferin, a little-known Slovenian lawyer who won the UEFA presidential election by a landslide on Wednesday.
Ceferin will complete Platini's four-year term through 2019 while the disgraced former France captain returns to his FIFA-imposed exile to continue serving a four-year ban over an improper payment.
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UEFA hopeful Van Praag complains nations turned back on him
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — UEFA presidential candidate Michael van Praag says that countries have reneged on promises to back him in Wednesday's election to succeed Michel Platini.
The Dutch federation head has picked up four public endorsements, while rival Aleksander Ceferin says he is supported by more than 30 members from the 55-strong UEFA.
Infantino’s leadership questioned as UEFA elects president
GENEVA (AP) — After declaring FIFA's image crisis over four months ago, questions are being raised about Gianni Infantino as he heads to world soccer's next big election.
The FIFA president will be a guest in Athens on Wednesday as his former UEFA colleagues vote to replace Michel Platini, who was ousted after the FIFA ethics committee banned him for taking a $2 million payment from Sepp Blatter.
Banned Platini to give speech before successor elected
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Michel Platini will be allowed to address European soccer leaders before his successor as UEFA president is elected, despite serving a four-year ban from the sport.
Banned by FIFA, Platini plans to be at UEFA election
GENEVA (AP) — Michel Platini plans to speak at the UEFA presidential election to replace him next week, despite his current FIFA ban from soccer politics.
A spokesman for his Paris-based lawyers said Wednesday that Platini had been invited to the Sept. 14 meeting in Athens by UEFA, and wanted to address delegates as part of a handover of the final two and a half years of his presidential mandate.
UEFA presidential candidate Villar withdraws election bid
MADRID (AP) — UEFA presidential candidate Angel Maria Villar has ended his bid to succeed Michel Platini in an election next week.
Villar says in a statement on the Spanish soccer federation website that "after a profound reflection I have decided to withdraw my bid."
The veteran FIFA and UEFA vice president received little support ahead of the Sept. 14 contest against Aleksander Ceferin of Slovenia and UEFA vice president Michael van Praag of the Netherlands.
French federation supporting Ceferin for UEFA presidency
PARIS (AP) — The French soccer federation says it supports Aleksander Ceferin in his bid to replace Michel Platini as UEFA president.
Ceferin, who heads the Slovenian federation, has entered the presidential contest alongside Michael van Praag of the Netherlands and Angel Maria Villar of Spain. UEFA's 55 member federations will vote on Sept. 14 in Athens.
FIFA council member Wolfgang Niersbach, a member of FIFA's ruling council, was banned from soccer for one year on Monday in the first sanction from the investigation into Germany's 2006 World Cup bid.
FIFA's ethics committee found Niersbach guilty of failing to report findings about possible unethical conduct and conflicts of interest during the bidding process.
Niersbach, who was a vice president of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee in charge of media and...
PARIS (AP) — The Portuguese party had just begun when a message briefly flickered on the Stade de France big screen: "Merci pour tout, Michel."
It wasn't clear what the absent Michel Platini was being thanked for at the end of the European Championship on Sunday.
A public show of support before UEFA's banned president loses his title in September? An endorsement of the former France captain's vision to expand the tournament by eight teams?
SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) — The Latest from the European Championship (all times local):
Crowned the European champion, Portugal will now go to play in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.
Portugal will join 2014 World Cup winner Germany and the host nation in a three-strong European challenge at the World Cup warm-up event next June.
The other continental champions to qualify are: Australia, Chile, Mexico and New...
PARIS (AP) — UEFA has followed FIFA by pledging to publish details of what the president and other top officials are paid for the first time.
The UEFA executive committee decided Saturday to create a three-member compensation panel to "oversee matters linked to remuneration" of senior management, including the president and general secretary.
The move toward financial openness follows world football body FIFA, which revealed in March that former president Sepp...
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the European Championship (all times local):
UEFA leaders do not expect outgoing president Michel Platini to accept their invitation to attend the European Championship final on Sunday.
Though Platini is banned from any football duties until 2019 by FIFA's ethics committee, he could go to see France vs. Portugal at the Stade de France without getting involved in official business.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Sepp Blatter will go to sport's highest court on Aug. 25 to challenge his six-year ban from football for approving a $2 million FIFA payment to an adviser.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport set the former FIFA president's appeal hearing date on Friday, to be held at its headquarters in Lausanne.
Blatter's day in court will come more than three months after CAS imposed a four-year ban on his adviser Michel Platini, head of European...
PARIS (AP) — The Latest from the European Championship (all times local):
Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal into its second European Championship final, scoring with a header and setting up Nani's goal soon after in a 2-0 win over Wales on Wednesday.
The goals came in the space of three minutes early in the second half in Lyon, helping end Wales' unlikely run to the semifinals in only its second ever major tournament.