- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

ST. JULIAN’S, Malta (AP) - A FIFA staffer who was at the center of an internal investigation into an alleged attempt to discredit presidential hopeful Michel Platini has left the scandal-plagued governing body.

FIFA said in a statement to The Associated Press that “Thomas Renggli resigned on 1 September.” FIFA was responding to questions about the outcome of the investigation.

But Renggli, who was working as part of FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s staff, told the AP: “I am still under contract.”

Citing Swiss employment law, FIFA declined to discuss Renggli’s case further.

The rift between UEFA President Platini and Blatter has grown over the last year. UEFA was incensed to discover a newspaper-style article, entitled “Platini: Skeletons in the closet”, was sent anonymously last month to German-language media.

UEFA asked FIFA ethics committee prosecutor Cornel Borbely and FIFA audit panel chairman Domenico Scala to investigate if the alleged smears against Platini came from its Zurich headquarters.

FIFA declined to discuss the detail of the investigation.

Platini’s public opposition to Blatter grew after the 79-year-old president reneged on a 2011 promise to stand aside at this year’s election.

Amid escalating corruption investigations, Blatter won a fifth term on May 29.

Blatter, however, announced plans to quit four days later and former ally Platini is the favorite to succeed him since announcing his candidacy in July.

The FIFA presidential election is on Feb. 26.


AP Sports Writer Graham Dunbar in Geneva contributed to this report.

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