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UEFA calls special meeting on Platini crisis

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Michel Platini arrives to appear before the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal his six-year FIFA ban for ethics violations on April 29, 2016 in Lausanne. The Frenchman has been sanctioned over an infamous two million Swiss franc ($2 million, 1.8 million euro) payment he received in 2011 from then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter.  / AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

Michel Platini arrives to appear before the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal his six-year FIFA ban for ethics violations on April 29, 2016 in Lausanne.<br />The Frenchman has been sanctioned over an infamous two million Swiss franc ($2 million, 1.8 million euro) payment he received in 2011 from then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter. / AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

UEFA will hold a special meeting before the Europa League final in Switzerland on May 18 to decide how to choose a new leader if Michel Platini fails to overturn a six-year ban from football.

Senior vice president Angel Maria Villar told the UEFA congress in Budapest that the executive committee would meet in Basel to decide the “procedures” to be taken after the Court of Arbitration (CAS) rules on Platini’s appeal.

Spanish football supremo Villar said UEFA must “remain united” as it confronts the crisis caused by Platini’s suspension by FIFA over a suspect $2 million payment authorised by former FIFA leader Sepp Blatter without a contract.

CAS is scheduled to announce its decision on Platini’s appeal on May 9 and Villar said “we very much hope that Michel will be back with us any day now”.

He added, however, that the emergency executive meeting on May 18 “will make its decision on the procedures, we will announce our next steps, and take decisive steps for the good of the sport”.

UEFA is anxious to have a leader in place for the European Championship finals in France. Platini was a key organiser of the landmark event in his home country and would be banned from official appearances at Euro 2016 if the suspension is upheld.

But there are also national associations in UEFA who have called for a proper election campaign which could hold up a choice until later in the year.

“UEFA is a great and extraordinary organisation despite difficult situations such as this,” Villar said in his appeal for unity.



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