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Switzerland

Michel Platini Interview: I'm Not A Money Man

Suspended for three months by FIFA's Ethics Committee for a 2 million Swiss franc payment from Sepp Blatter, the former French soccer star denies any wrongdoing, and still says he's the right man to be the next president of the global soccer org

Embattled Platini
Embattled Platini
Raphaelle Bacqué

GENOLIER — The village of Genolier is barely 25 minutes from the Geneva airport, just above Lake Geneva. This is where Michel Platini bought, at the top of the village, a duplex apartment, in a large, ultra-modern building that forms, with the neighboring clinic, a curious white mass in the heart of the countryside.

The head of the European Soccer governing body UEFA agreed to receive Le Monde here, at a time when his candidacy for the presidency of FIFA has been gravely undermined by revelations of a 2 million Swiss franc (1.8 million euro) payment, in 2011, promised by the man who has occupied the position atop the Zurich-based world soccer organization since 1998, Joseph "Sepp" Blatter.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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