Platini to ignore FIFA and keep luxury gift

UEFA president Michel Platini has said he intends to ignore FIFA requests and not return a luxury watch valued at 25,000 Swiss francs, given to him by the Brazilian Football Confederation.

Michel Platini
Michel Platini

Instead, he said on Friday in British media reports, he will make a donation for the same amount to a charity.

"I'm a well-educated person," he said. "I don't return gifts."

FIFA has asked officials who received one of the 65 limited-edition Parmigiani Fleurier watches to return them by Oct. 24 to avoid action being taken by its ethics committee. FIFA said receipt of such valuable gifts broke its code of ethics.

The watches were given to 32 national association chiefs, 28 FIFA executive committee members and five Latin American association members during a FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo in June, on the eve of the World Cup. The congress was beset by allegations of corruption.

"I was very surprised by the press release of FIFA," a critical Platini was quoted by The Guardian. "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.

"But if the ethics committee was not pleased, they should have told us that four months ago in Brazil, when we received the watches. They were aware that we were receiving these watches because everybody received them."

The English Football Association (FA) chairman Greg Dyke also received one of the watches and, on Thursday, said he was unaware of its value and intended to return it.

Platini added: "I'm going to ask for the value of this watch and I'm going to give to a charitable organisation, a foundation, this value.

"But I can't return a gift. In my upbringing, I cannot return gifts like that."

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