Newly-elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino is disappointed on a personal level that his former colleague at UEFA, Michel Platini, decided to resign as the chief of the European football body on Monday. The decision was taken by the former French footballer after he failed to overturn his ban handed by the FIFA Ethics Committee, last year.
Platini was served with an eight-year ban by the FIFA body, along with former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, after a £1.4 million payment came to light. After the eight-year ban was reduced to six years earlier this year, Platini challenged the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to completely overturn the ban.
However, the CAS panel would only bring the ban down to four years and cut his fine from 80,000 Swiss francs (£57,245) to 60,000 (£42,934). This ruling forced Platini to quit from his post.
Infantino, the former general-secretary of UEFA, expressed disappointment over the decision, but he also said he respects the CAS ruling.
"Obviously as FIFA president I need to respect the decision of the CAS, there is no doubt about that," Infantino was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. "On a personal level, of course, I am very sad about the decision. I have worked with Michel for the last nine years in UEFA, seven as general secretary. All together we did some great things.
"And I really want to keep these positive memories, at this moment focus on the positive memories."
The UEFA, meanwhile, also released a statement saying that they will be looking at holding a meeting in Basel on May 18 to discuss the steps going forward.
"UEFA has taken note of the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to suspend UEFA President Michel Platini from any football-related activity for four years. We have also taken note of Michel Platini's statement announcing his intention to resign as UEFA President," said the UEFA statement.
"The UEFA Executive Committee will meet on the morning of 18 May in Basel to discuss next steps, including the scheduling of an elective congress. In the meantime, there will be no UEFA President appointed ad interim."