The UEFA president defended his policy of Financial Fair Play and condemned match-fixing, saying he is "hopeful that another kind of football is possible."UEFA president Michel Platini believes the organization's foremost duty is to implement policies that are responsible, even if they are not always popular.
The former Ballon d'Or winner is a staunch advocate of Financial Fair Play, in which the failure of a club to spend within its budget can lead to disqualification from European competitions. While acknowledging his initiatives are not always well-received, Platini has vowed to continue striving for a more level and financially inclusive playing field in Europe.
"In recent months, football has not always projected the best image of itself. Practices which are morally reprehensible have persisted," he began in an address over UEFA's website. "UEFA has its share of responsibility. We would like to act in a quicker and firmer manner. Nevertheless, we have moved to the next level in 2013, and important decisions have been taken.
"Clubs have been excluded from the Champions League and Europa League, either for reasons related to their financial mismanagement, or because of their involvement in match-fixing. All of these measures are not making us popular. That is patently clear. However, my aim is not to be popular. My aim is to be responsible. I must take on this responsibility to remain hopeful that another kind of football is possible. A football that is free of cheating, violence or injustice."
On a lighter note, Platini took time to congratulate Bayern Munich for a triumphant 2013, as well as express his hopes one of Europe's representatives at the 2014 World Cup will clinch the trophy.
"It would be remiss of me if I did not pay tribute to Bayern Munich, who won all the competitions in which the club has taken part in 2013, including the Club World Cup in Morocco days ago," the Juventus and France legend continued. "We must also wish the best of luck to the 13 national teams who will represent Europe at the World Cup in Brazil. I have one single wish – that the Jules Rimet Trophy remains in Europe for another four years."