Blatter's final play: stopping Frenchman Michel Platini from heading FIFA

By Antoine Grynbaum

Sepp Blatter, the head of football's ruling body FIFA, and former French star Michel Platini are now in the sights of the Swiss judicial authorities. Blatter is being investigated for “criminal mismanagement”, while questions have been raised over an allegedly “underhand” payment the Frenchman received from the FIFA boss. Football writer Antoine Grynbaum describes how the once-close relationship between the two men turned sour and what it means for Platini's own bid for football's top job.  

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It is the latest act in a Shakespearian drama linking the destinies of two men who were allies before becoming enemies. Sepp Blatter, now under investigation by the Swiss authorities, might have given the impression that he had laid down his weapons when he resigned as president of world football governing body FIFA in early June 2015 almost immediately after being re-elected for a fifth term of office. But in reality the 79-year-old FIFA veteran is still battling to stop his former close ally Michel Platini from obtaining the top job in world football. So it is that former French football star Platini finds himself ensnared in the antics of the man whom he has always dreamed of replacing.