French sports minister stands by Platini, regrets suspension


France's sports minister says he supports Michel Platini and regrets his eight-year ban from world soccer.

Platini, the president of European football's governing body UEFA - which is staging the European Championship in France next year, was suspended on Monday along with FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

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Sports minister Patrick Kanner said Tuesday on Europe-1 radio that ''I regret it because I'm not sure the core (of the case against Platini) was assessed in good conditions.''

Platini, a France great in his playing career, was banned because of a $2 million payment he received from FIFA in 2011 which was judged by FIFA's ethics commission to be a conflict of interest and disloyal to the world body.

Kanner said ''I support the president of UEFA, even if he's suspended.''