Quote of the day

“For a year now, everything is being done to discredit me, regardless of what I do. It is easy to feed people who spend their time denigrating you on social networks. There are firms that specialise in this. It’s not hard, you simply have to pay.”

Platini was responding to reports this week which cast doubts on his links to the disgraced Mohamed bin Hammam. Allegedly, there was a secret meeting before the controversial 2010 World Cup vote with the Qatari official.

“I read ‘Platini corrupt?’ in all the newspapers, on news agency wires, on blogs. Honestly, it hurts,” Platini said.

“I saw this colleague 10,000 times in 15 years. Why would I have had a secret meeting with him? I now realise that in the background there is somebody, something, people organising all this. I can feel it.”

As to who might be responsible for ‘organising all this’, the UEFA chief admitted he had no idea.

“I have no proof,” he continued. “I don’t know who is behind all this. But I think lots of interests are at stake, for those at FIFA, for those who want to be there… and without doubt also for those who want us to overturn the attribution of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar”.

That narrows the hunt down to several billion.