UEFA's Platini says it's clear he's not popular

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 27, 2013 at 11:57 am •  Published: December 27, 2013

UEFA President Michel Platini believes he has made himself unpopular in some football circles by enforcing stricter punishments for clubs, but that it's a necessary consequence of trying to clean up the sport.

Platini, who is weighing up whether he has the support to seek the FIFA presidency in 2015, said Friday that penalizing clubs for racism, match-fixing and uncontrolled spending is key to ensuring that football is "free of cheating, violence or injustice."

Platini said in an end-of-year message that UEFA still must act "quicker and firmer," but highlighted how clubs are already being forced to play in empty stadiums to punish racism, and booted out of European competitions for financial mismanagement.

"All of these measures are not making us popular. That is patently clear," Platini said. "However, my aim is not to be popular. My aim is to be responsible.

"It is a responsibility that I must take on, in order to ensure football's continued existence, as well as the future of our competitions."

Among the scourges tarnishing football's image, Platini highlighted match-fixing, the "extravagant" amounts middlemen are making on transfer deals, the trafficking of minors and the "violent or discriminatory excesses of extremist fringes which pollute the stands at certain stadiums."

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