Banned Uefa president Michel Platini has accused world football’s ethics committee of “sleeping” for four years before barring him from football, reports BBC.
Platini and Fifa president Sepp Blatter were ruled to have abused their positions over a $2m “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011.
Both men are appealing against eight-year bans issued on Monday.
“What was the ethics committee doing between 2011, when I was paid, and 2015?” said Platini. “Was it sleeping?”
In an interview with French media agency AFP, the 60-year-old former France captain added: “Suddenly it wakes up. Ah yes, it wakes up in a Fifa election year when I’m a candidate. It’s amazing.”
Blatter, the 79-year-old who had been Fifa boss since 1998, had already announced he was quitting, with vice-president Platini tipped to succeed the Swiss at February’s election.
Platini has been in charge of European football’s governing body, Uefa, since 2007. The organisation back him in a statement on Monday, saying it was “extremely disappointed” with the decision.
The Frenchman has submitted his candidacy but cannot stand while banned from all footballing activities.
Both men are appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Platini said: “I will fight. But then I’ll take my responsibilities according to what happens.
“Whatever happens, my reputation has been sullied, I’ve been kicked in the teeth: I’ve been put in the same bag as Blatter.”