Mexico City: FIFA president Gianni Infantino voiced sadness on Monday after his former mentor Michel Platini decided to resign as UEFA chief after his appeal against a football ban was rejected by sports tribunal.
Infantino, speaking to reporters after a FIFA Council meeting in Mexico City, said that, as chief of football's governing body, he must "respect the decision" by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"On a personal level, of course I'm very sad about this decision. I've worked with Michel for the last nine years," said Infantino, who was Platini's number two at UEFA before he became FIFA president in February. We did some great things in UEFA together and I really want to keep these positive memories."
The court reduced Platini's suspension from six years to four, saying the penalty initially imposed by FIFA's ethics committee was "too severe."
Former UEFA chief Michel Platini
But the court said it was "not convinced" that the $2 million payment Platini received from FIFA in 2011 was legitimate. World football's disgraced ex-president Sepp Blatter had ordered the payment.
Platini, once the frontrunner to succeed Blatter as the most powerful man in the sport, said after the ruling he had no choice but to resign and would keep fighting in Swiss courts to prove his "probity."