Will the French judicial investigation into the controversial award of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups to Russia and Qatar lead to questioning of football personalities before the opening of the next World Cup in the gas emirate, to be held in November and December? At this stage, under the inquest opened by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) in November 2019, there are no charges for “active and passive corruption”, as well as for “receiving and laundering these offences” . †
The mediapart news site reported on Monday, April 4, that in 2017, as part of the preliminary investigation, French detectives were polarized on a ” Picasso painting » which Michel Platini might have received from the Russian oligarch Alicher Ousmanova close friend of Vladimir Putin who is currently the target of European Union (EU) sanctions following his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Since 2014 and an article from Sunday Times in 2014, it was rumored that the Frenchman, who was then president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), received such a gift from Russia.
In December 2017, French researchers simultaneously searched Michel Platini’s homes, in Saint-Cloud (Hauts-de-Seine) and Cassis (Bouches-du-Rhône). According to Mediapart, they only found a lithograph of Picasso in Saint-Cloud.
However, in a wiretap passed on by Mediapart, Michel Platini’s wife, Christelle, mentioned the existence of a “Ushmanov painting”† “the Picasso under Ouchmanov”, at their residence in Cassis. “I think I kept it. You said, ‘I don’t want that stuff,'” […] when he offered itMrs Platini had told her husband.
Mediapart questions this element in the context of the award, in December 2010, of the 2018 World Cup to Russia. At the time, Mr Platini had for a time favored England’s candidacy, before favoring that of the Netherlands-Belgium tandem and then that of Russia, which triumphed at the ballot box in the second round. He had previously secured a European country’s win for the 2018 World Cup by maneuvering to reject the United States’ candidacy for this edition.
The Platini camp evokes “two Picasso lithographs”
According to Michel Platini’s entourage, the former number 10 of the Blues has… “received two lithographs by Picasso”. “A Naked Woman”offered to the former lawn star, “twenty or twenty-five years ago” by an Italian journalist from the Gazetta dello Sportand another, “in June 2016 and thus after the 2018 World Cup prize vote”for the 61st birthday of Mr. Platini, received from the billionaire Alicher Ousmanov.
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