Michel Platini detained over 2022 Qatar World Cup award; FIFA rankings latest


Investigators looking into the awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar have placed the French football legend and former UEFA President, Michel Platini, under the microscope, and Belgium continues to rule the world in the new FIFA rankings.

michel-platini-detained-over-2022-qatar-world-cup-award-fifa-rankings-latestDuring his pomp, Michel Platini found ways to sneak through the toughest of opponents, and the 63-year-old will need all of that guile and cunning to move through the current wall that stands in his way after the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police detained him on suspicion of corruption this week.

According to the French investigative entity, Mediapart, officials arrested the three-time Ballon d’Or winner in Nanterre, Paris, on Tuesday morning as part of the ongoing investigation into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, an inquiry that also involved the former Fifa President, Sepp Blatter.

Platini worked for Fifa between 1998 and 2002, and was the president of UEFA from 2007 until he stepped down after a Fifa Ethics Committee handed Platini {and Blatter} an eight-year ban from football over financial irregularities (later reduced to four years on appeal).

The decision to award the World Cup to Qatar churned up a universal look of surprise with competing nations South Korea, America, Australia and Japan overlooked like a teacup in a mug factory.

As a member of Fifa’s decision-making committee, Platini had a say in who would host the 2022 World Cup, and according to Blatter, the French footballing wizard backed out of a gentleman’s agreement to vote for America, instead preferring Qatar. One assumes the questioning focuses on the ‘why’?

Platini voted for Qatar two weeks after meeting with the then French president, Nicolas Sarkozy and Qatar’s crown prince, and current Emir, Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani, and told the Associated Press that the meeting had nothing to do with his change of heart, a claim that Blatter said is untrue.

Press reports indicate that Platini met with Qatar’s football administrator and president of the Asian Football Conference, Mr Mohamed Bin Hammam, 30 to 50 times in the lead up to his change of heart. Given both of their positions on the Fifa Executive Committee, Platini called the foul play claims “astonishing.”

European Nations dominate FIFA/Coca Cola world rankings

Belgium is the best national football team in the world according to the latest Fifa/Coca Cola World Rankings. The team that’s won nothing but the insides of an empty Zippo lighter since putting together the most glittering array of talent in the country’s history are ahead of current world champions France.

Of the nations that recently competed in the UEFA Nations League Final, third-placed finishers, England, feature the highest in fourth. UEFA Nations League and Euro 2018 Champions, Portugal, are fifth, the fourth-place finishers in the UEFA Nations League, Switzerland, are ninth, with the runners-up, The Netherlands in joint 14th with the Italians.

European nations dominate the rankings with only Brazil (3rd) and Uruguay (8th) making the top ten, with Argentina as low as 11th (joint with Germany, would you believe). The lack of non-European nations in the top ten shouldn’t come as a surprise with the Brazilians the last non-European team to win the Fifa World Cup in 2002 (You have to go back as far as 1986 to find a non-European winner that didn’t play in yellow and bend free-kicks around walls like there were boomerangs – Argentina).

Fifa/Coca Cola world rankings

1. Belgium
2. France
3. Brazil
4. England
5. Portugal
6. Croatia
7. Spain
8. Uruguay
9. Switzerland
10. Denmark

The next major tournament for Europe is Michel Platini’s baby. Euro 2020 takes place across 12 cities from 12 European nations, June 12 to July 12, with Platini calling the competition a ‘one-off’ to celebrate 60-years of the European Championship competition.

Former UEFA President Michel Platini said that hosting the tournament in several nations is a “romantic” one-off event to celebrate the 60th “birthday” of the European Championship competition he won in 1984 when life was a lot less controversial.

Euro 2020 odds

France – 7/2
England – 9/2
Belgium – 7/1
Spain – 7/1
Germany – 7/1
Netherlands – 9/1
Portugal – 16/1