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Platini out to end football's 'murky politics'

Football's global governing body FIFA has been embroiled in a series of controversies surrounding the awarding of the World Cups to Qatar and Russia in 2018 and 2022 respectively.

FIFA's Executive Committee eventually confirmed it would publish in full Michael Garcia's 430-page report into the bidding processes for the tournaments after heavy pressure from both inside and outside the game.

Former United States attorney Garcia resigned from his position as independent chairman of the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee in December.

Platini has also been involved in another issue regarding Qatar 2022 - stating the competition must be held around the midway mark of domestic European campaigns - with debate continuing over the prospects of playing in the likely sweltering temperatures in Qatar.

The France great used his end-of-year message to call for the sport to ditch the negative press that it has suffered in 2014.

"I wish that UEFA and all of its stakeholders can continue to work together to develop and protect our beautiful game," Platini said.

"I also sincerely hope football can make headlines around the world for moments of magic on the field rather than for the murky politics off it.

"I pledge to lead the way to make sure UEFA continues to set the standard for excellence and transparency in governance.

"Anything less than that, in our competitions and administration, is unacceptable."