FIFA staffer quits after Platini smear campaign

UEFA had asked FIFA to investigate article that was sent anonymously to German media last month.

UEFA President Platini congratulates FIFA President Blatter
Platini is favourite to success Blatter as FIFA president [Reuters]

A FIFA staffer who was at the centre of an internal investigation into an alleged attempt to discredit presidential hopeful Michel Platini has left the scandal-plagued governing body.

Responding to questions about the outcome of the investigation, FIFA said in a statement to The AP that “Thomas Renggli resigned on 1 September”.

But Renggli, who was working as part of FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s staff, told the AP: “I am still under contract.”

Who will replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA boss?

Citing Swiss employment law, FIFA declined to discuss Renggli’s case further.

The rift between UEFA President Platini and Blatter has grown over the last year.

UEFA was incensed to discover a newspaper-style article, entitled “Platini: Skeletons in the closet”, was sent anonymously last month to German-language media.

UEFA asked FIFA ethics committee prosecutor Cornel Borbely and FIFA audit panel chairman Domenico Scala to investigate if the alleged smears against Platini came from its Zurich headquarters.

FIFA declined to discuss the detail of the investigation.

Platini’s public opposition to Blatter grew after the 79-year-old president reneged on a 2011 promise to stand aside at this year’s election.

Amid escalating corruption investigations, Blatter won a fifth term on May 29.

Blatter, however, announced plans to quit four days later and former ally Platini is the favourite to succeed him since announcing his candidacy in July.

The FIFA presidential election is on February 26.

Source: AP