OPEN LETTER TO MICHEL PLATINI PRESIDENT OF UEFA
Mr. Michel Platini
President of UEFA
Route de Geneva 46
CH-1260 Nyon 2
Paris, June 21, 2012.
Dear Mr. Platini,
With your recent action RESPECT of UEFA, you tried to put in relief some kind of standard of fair play in the football association that you lead, involving many people and sport audience around Europe and worldwide. Your action towards unity and respect across gender, race, religion and ability, is actually a great initiative that can only inspire support, so congratulation!
But Mr. President, you always ask people to applaud and support your initiative because you probably think that it is the right thing to do, to follow the voice of a former important player, the President of the important European football association and the vice president of FIFA too. Why not if initiative is good, in his public sense and in sense of justice, fairness of football plays!
Being involved in such a strong initiative and philosophically right position on a planetary scale means that you, Mr. President, as well as your organization should be irreproachable regarding your action that must be perfectly clean, impartial and honest!
But are you - the UEFA and yourself as the President - acting accordingly to such moral standards? Or should we understand that your standards are good for some people and not for others?
In my opinion, your standards and your football Association are unfortunately not clean and not good, but dangerously obstructive according to the right sense of justice in sport!
I am going to give you some recent examples that perfectly illustrate the fact that you and your organization are at the center of injustice, incoherence, violence and unfairness. Your judgment and your justice have double reading and double meaning.
Unfortunately, what we learnt from you is that your action is very selective, often impartial regarding refereeing, and problematic with regard to the public sense of justice, which you and your organization are manipulating in a very strange manner. Double sense judgments towards small and big football nation are often obvious if referring to your disciplinary actions, which are sometimes very badly inspired, not always documented and ignoring the sources violence problems and injustice in football sport. You forgot to be a good example for others and especially for the young people.
Justice and fairness, Mr. President, are your Achilles’ tendon.
It is precisely the case when you refuse to apply the possibility to check very clearly, according to these values, the referees judgments, which are often the source of all problems and violence, and unfortunately not only once, during the football competition and that generate conflicts during and after the matches.
Modern technologies offer a perfect possibility to see the wrong action on a football ground, and to check who is playing sportingly and who is unfair. This would eliminate all possibilities of unfairness suspicion and avoid unjustified results. But you and your organization refuse this solution, to make your occult games and plays, persisting with unfairness and generating false results, as a way to give advantage to your protected nations, your favorite ones.
Rugby, which is a quite difficult sport, has accepted such technological method and there is no violence like in football, because everybody can see the video monitoring.
It was the case with the latest match Ukraine/England when all the supporters around the world saw an Ukrainian goal. The ball was fully inside, what all TV’s showed repetitively during the match and the days after. But your referees chose ignoring the protest of Ukrainian players which have been punished for nothing.
During the match Spain/Croatia, it was the same injustice when two evident penalties weren’t pronounced in favor of Croatia. Players of Croatia have been betrayed and Spanish ones protected. They have been punished with elimination and you have imposed as “your personal gift” to the Croatian federation a huge financial fine. These elements of course have changed the sense of Euro 2012. Two nations of football have been eliminated in order to save France, England, Italy, and Spain, which you and your Association are protecting with Mafiosi method. This is not anymore sport, but an organized mafia business, which you lead Mr. President. Where is your justice, which you are often referring to when speaking but not when acting? While on the contrary the voice of justice should be strongly heard by everybody.
To show your personal punch, you have opened a punitive action against the Croatian federation because the disciplinary case also involves the improper conduct of the team (six Croatian players received a yellow card during the game), because they were protesting against injustice, and dangerous attempt of the Spanish players, which should have been kicked out with red cards. But Mr. Platini stayed silent! And he chose to punish the victims!
When the German referee incisively punished them for protesting against his unfair refereeing during the whole match, which withdrawing Croatia out of Euro 2012, you gave your personal touch using then a very vulgar langage - according to what we read in the newspaper – and saying “kick Croatian shit out ”(Vecernji list, Zagreb, June 21st, 2012). Also for the setting-off and throwing of fireworks, and the improper conduct of supporters, even if the Poland police confirmed that it was not Croatian but Russian supporters, mixed with Croatian supporters, who threw fireworks during the match Spain-Croatia, and with video help you could have found him them after the match. But your justice is speeder than facts, and everything was good to eliminate troubling Croatian team from Euro 2012. By acting so, you prevented people from discovering the sources of your improper hidden work. But it is perfectly clear today for everybody that your attitude was unfair, improper and generated the scandalous affaire of EURO 2012.
We did not hear Mr. Platini and the UEFA instance when Italian officials, Italian participating players in EURO 2012, Italian sports daily newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport and all media in Italie, accused Croatian and Spanish players to prepare 2:2 fraud result arrangement. It is not fair for players participating in Euro to affirm such things to media (Buffon, Pirlo….) during the competition. There was not a single word from the UEFA and from its President to condemn such an immoral activity or eventually infringe a fine to the Italian federation, or to remove the accreditation of the journalis of Gazzetta dello Sport for example. But it is probably difficult to do such a thing for Mr. Platini as this same newspaper gave him some month ago the Giacinto Facchetti International Prize for “his particular support of fair play and backing of the elements that make football 'the beautiful game' “, or to give fines to players of his former club, who played this strange activity, because they know that it is a regular practice in Italian football, which has nothing to do with “the beautiful game”.
Two days before European national-team football's blue-rib and competition kicks off you said: "As always, football is irrational – and that makes its beauty."
I will be much more happy if this irrationality has been better observed, better treated in the sense of justice, with a better refereeing and fluidity, to make it a really better winner, wherever they come from, representing a big or a small nation, whatever their skin, religion and faith are. Especially when we have technical capacity to see very precisely who plays fair play and who is inspired by fraudulent manners, making dirty plays, which could exhaust the public and give people a feeling of injustice and of perversion of the game. It is this kind of refereeing that discourages sport lovers and fans sometimes, transforming 'the beautiful game' into dangerous game.
If you had cancelled the matches England-Ukraine and Croatia-Spain, and disqualified the referee for life arbiter for worst arbitrage, kicked out of football, the public and the supporters would be thinking that there is a justice, and as you affirmed on September 28th, 2011, at the Council of Europe: “we will redouble our efforts to kick violence out of our stadiums, to eliminate it”, or other one of your “bavardage” like : “This game must help society to become better. It is crucial for the future of our children". But your words are meaningless, out of sense and out of justice, your words are of the wind, without consequences.
So if you are not able to assume your responsibility, Mr. Platini, the best thing to do, and what I suggest you, as former football functionary and a sport lover, is to resign because you don’t fulfill your duty, and obviously you show and support impartiality in sport and such an attitude and such a practice cannot be accepted.
This EURO 2012 is not anymore regular, so please I think that your resignation will be the first good thing to do.
Historian of Art and Architecture
Titular Member of the European Academy
of Sciences, Arts and Humanities
76 Bis Rue de Rennes
75006 Paris – France
Tel. 00 33 1 43 35 19 55
Mobil phone:00 33 611 08 55 40