Swiss authorities have refuted claims that Michel Platini has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing following reports that the French legend is plotting a return to football.
Platini was banned from all football-related activities for eight years, later reduced to four years by The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), over a two million Swiss francs (£1.5m) payment FIFA made to him in 2011 by former boss Sepp Blatter for work done a decade earlier.
FIFA’s ethics committee later termed the payment ‘disloyal’, saying it lacked transparency and presented conflicts of interest, leading to the ban on both men.
But the former Uefa chief said on Saturday he had been told by the Swiss authorities that had now been closed.
“After (three) years of investigation, the Public Ministry of the (Swiss) Confederation has just restored the truth by officially confirming that no charge has been at any time or will be in the future held against me in connection with my activities for FIFA,” Platini said in a statement.
“This official information from an authority of justice attests definitely of my innocence.”
The 62-year-old added he and his family had been living a nightmare for the last three years.
“These years were difficult and painful,” Platini said.
“My honour and integrity have been tarnished. I was robbed for three years of professional life.
“I will come back: where, when, how? It is too early to tell. But I will come back to football.”
Meanwhile, AFP on Saturday reported Swiss prosecutors as saying Platini’s case is “not completely over”.