UEFA chief and Football Legend Michel Platini visits the European Parliament - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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UEFA chief and Football Legend Michel Platini visits the European Parliament

Thursday, 5 November 2009
Michel Platini, the French football icon now head of UEFA, met with European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek last Thursday and left having agreed to be the referee for a match to be set up on the 60th Anniversary of the Schuman Declaration next year between the European Parliament and a team composed of members of national governments!

UEFA Boss Michel Platini meets EP Jerzy Buzek (Photo: ajburgess/Flickr)

But that was not the main reason for his visit. Presidents Buzek and Platini were due to discuss a number of wide-ranging issues in their meeting, including Mr Platini's latest "Financial Fair Play" initiative, the protection of minors and the clubs that train them and the issue of betting in football, namely corruption and match-fixing.

They also spoke about the arrangements for the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2012 tournament finals which are to be co-hosted in the Ukraine and Mr Buzek's native Poland.

After signing a couple of footballs and reminiscing about former players, Mr Platini addressed the press after the meeting today saying he was extremely pleased that they share the same outlook for the sport and that Mr Buzek has "encouraged us in our efforts on Financial Fair Play, the protection of minors and their forming clubs, as well as in our fight against corruption linked to betting."

He also thanked Mr Buzek for having agreed to join UEFA's Friends of Football.

In return, Mr Buzek said these are "good policies for European football and I fully support all the initiatives of UEFA and President Platini which are crucial for football in Europe".

He also gave his backing for grassroots football and for the game to be used to help educate young people reaffirming that "there should be zero tolerance against racism, violence and doping" in the popular sport.

Focus perhaps will now turn to the future football match, and to what position Mr Buzek will allocate himself in the team. After holding one of the signed balls in his hands throughout the press conference, should perhaps he wants be the goalkeeper...?

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