Qatar 2022

Phone taps reveal Platini counted on Macron for help with legal woes after 'discreet' meeting

France — Investigation

French police phone tap transcripts seen by Mediapart reveal that former football star Michel Platini, who served for eight years as head of the sport’s European governing body UEFA, and who is at the centre of separate investigations in France and Switzerland into corruption and fraud, claimed he had been offered “help” with his legal situation by President Emmanuel Macron. In March 2018, Platini met with the French president at the Élysée Palace when, according to a French journalist and friend of the former France international who was also present, his legal affairs were discussed. The Élysée, meanwhile, has denied any interference with the justice system.   

Qatar 2022: Sarkozy aide memos point to Élysée deal

International — Investigation

Key documents seen by Mediapart shed new light on the award of the 2022 football World Cup to Qatar. The documents, written to then French president Nicolas Sarkozy by his sports advisor, relate to a lunch that took place at the Élysée Palace in 2010, just days before the crucial vote to decide the tournament’s host country. They reveal that the then boss of European football ruling body UEFA, Michel Platini, had been “reluctant” to back the Gulf state, but had been convinced to switch his vote to it by the end of the meeting with the French president and key figures from Qatar. Yann Philippin and Antton Rouget report.