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Context of 'February 22, 2009: Platini Addresses European Parliament'

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1982: Michel Platini Signs for Juventus

Star French playmaker Michel Platini signs for Juventus. Platini will go on to make 147 appearances for the Italian football giants, and will lead them to victory in the European Cup in 1985 (see May 29, 1985). [Independent, 4/5/2005]

Entity Tags: Juventus, Michel Platini

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Thirty-nine people die at the European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool, played at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium. [Independent, 4/5/2005] The deaths occur as a group of Liverpool supporters break through a thin line of police at the aging stadium and advance towards the Juventus section. As the Italians try to escape, a retaining wall in one of their sectors collapses and many fans are crushed or trampled to death. [BBC, 5/29/2000] The game is won by Juventus, after playmaker Michel Platini scores from a wrongly awarded penalty. Platini will later say that when he discovered the number of Juventus fans who had lost their lives, “Something inside me died,” but add that despite the deaths, the game, which gave Juventus its first European Cup triumph, “was not meaningless.” He will also say that the referee’s mistake in awarding the penalty was understandable: “If I’d been the referee I’d have given it too. [Juventus striker Zbigniew] Boniek was 60 meters away and he was going too quickly.” [Independent, 4/5/2005]

Entity Tags: Juventus, Michel Platini, Zbigniew Boniek, Liverpool F.C.

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Former France and Juventus player Michel Platini (see 1982) is elected head of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), defeating the incumbent Lennart Johansson. Platini wins in the first round of voting, just obtaining an absolute majority from the 52 national associations that voted in a secret ballot. Johansson had been president for 16 years. One of Platini’s main goals, with which Johansson disagreed, was to limit the number of Champions League places to a maximum of three per country, rather than four, starting in 2009. Only England, Spain, and Italy currently have four Champions League places, so the move would hit them, and potentially benefit voters from all the other countries. In addition, Platini wants a cost control measure that limits clubs’ playing staff salary costs to “something like 50-60 percent of turnover,” as well as to combat racism and fraud, develop UEFA’s competitions, and gain recognition of football’s special status in European law. [BBC, 1/26/2007]

Entity Tags: Michel Platini, Lennart Johansson, Union of European Football Associations

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

UEFA president Michel Platini (see January 26, 2007) addresses the European Parliament in Brussels and outlines his program as head of the governing body of the continent’s most popular sport. Platini advocates the idea of financial fair play, which he says will lead to competitive balance in European competitions. He also insists that football should not be treated as an economic activity, and that the sport’s specific nature should be recognised officially. Furthermore, the UEFA president calls, among other things, for a ban on the movement abroad of people who play football but are under the age of 18. Regarding the specific nature of football, Platini argues that certain laws governing the rest of society should not apply to the game because such application is based on “the false equation that professional sport equals a purely economic activity.” [UEFA, 2/22/2009]

Entity Tags: Union of European Football Associations, Michel Platini

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

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