Timing wrong on FIFA watch ruling, says Michel Platini

UEFA supremo Michel Platini said Friday he would not be complying with FIFA`s demand to return a luxury watch given as a gift by organisers of the Brazil World Cup.

AFP| Last Updated: Sep 19, 2014, 19:58 PM IST
Timing wrong on FIFA watch ruling, says Michel Platini

Geneva: UEFA supremo Michel Platini said Friday he would not be complying with FIFA`s demand to return a luxury watch given as a gift by organisers of the Brazil World Cup.

FIFA officials were on Thursday given until October 24 by the Ethics Committee of world football`s governing body to hand back luxury watches offered as "gifts" by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

But European football chief Platini, who announced last month that he would not run for the FIFA presidency, slammed both the timing and the manner of the announcement. 

The CBF originally handed out 65 gift bags each containing a Parmigiani watch to FIFA Executive Committee officials and members of the 32 competing associations at the World Cup.

The CBF said they got the watches for $8,750 (6,774 euros) each, but FIFA claim that the watches are worth three times more.

"I`m not only surprised by news of the value of the watches, but also by the FIFA statement," Platini said on the sidelines Friday of the announcement of the host cities for Euro 2020.

"If the FIFA ethics committee were unhappy they should have told us four months ago in Brazil, when we were first given the watches," said the Frenchman.

"This is purely in reaction to an article in the British press and suddenly they`re demanding we give the watches back immediately," he said.

Platini also explained it was bad manners to return gifts and that instead he intended to establish the true worth of the watch and contribute the amount to a charity.

English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke confirmed he was one of the officials given a watch.

Dyke, who will return the gift, said the watch was inside a bag and he had intended to give it to charity along with other items.

"During the FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, a bag with a watch inside was left in my hotel room by the Brazilian FA. I had no idea of the value and it has been left untouched in my office since returning to England," Dyke said.