1 Dec 2014

Platini denies Picasso deal

12:44 pm on 1 December 2014

The UEFA president Michel Platini has dismissed as fictitious, rumours he had been given a Picasso painting in return for voting for Russia to host the 2018 Football World Cup.

The British newspaper the Sunday Times claims to have access to a database of allegations compiled by the failed English bid team for the 2018 Cup.

The newspaper claimed on Platini was given a painting, believed to be a Picasso, as part of a bid to secure his vote.

"I'd like to point out that the Sunday Times allegations are totally fictitious and the newspaper themselves admit that they don't have any proof to support this ridiculous rumour," said Platini.

UEFA president Michel Platini dismisses as fictitious allegations he was given a Picasso to vote for Russia.

UEFA president Michel Platini dismisses as fictitious allegations he was given a Picasso to vote for Russia. Photo: Photosport

"This affair is now in the hands of my legal advisers in case of any eventual defamation case."

The newspaper made a variety of other claims including that Russian president Vladimir Putin enlisted FIFA president Sepp Blatter to help lobby for votes and that Qatar used their influence in the natural gas industry to secure votes through bilateral trade deals.

Both Russia and Qatar, who won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, were cleared of any wrongdoing following an independent inquiry.

However, investigator Michael Garcia, an American lawyer, contested FIFA's conclusion to his findings.

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