UEFA president Michel Platini has criticised FIFA for publicly rebuking football executives who accepted luxury gifts at the World Cup, saying he will donate around $27,000 to charity rather than return a watch.
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A FIFA statement on Thursday warned officials they had until Oct. 24 to return the Brazilian football federation watch or face ethics proceedings for accepting a gift that had more than a "symbolic or trivial value."
#INSERT type:image caption:UEFA chief Michel Platini does not plan to return the pricey watch handed out as a gift at the World Cup. END#
Platini, who announced in August he would not challenge FIFA president Sepp Blatter in upcoming FIFA elections, said: "If the ethics committee was not pleased, they should've told us that four months ago in Brazil, when we received the watches. They were aware that we were receiving these watches because everybody received them."
Platini, who is also a FIFA vice president but one of Blatter's biggest critics, added: "I don't return gifts."
Instead he said he will pay 25,000 Swiss francs ($26,600) to charity.
Platini said such gifts were common practice in the football world.
"I receive watches, you receive watches, we all receive watches, I have received several," Platini told the BBC in Geneva. "But I was surprised on the one hand to see the value of the watch.''
FIFA said the returned watches will be donated to charity.
"I'm a well-educated person. I don't return gifts,'' Platini said. "I'm going to ask for the value of this watch and I'm going to give to a charitable organization, a foundation, this value.''
Watches worth more than 16,000 pounds ($26,800) each were handed out to a representative from all 32 countries at the World Cup, according to FIFA's ethics investigators.
A Parmigiani watch was also distributed in a gift bag from the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in June to all the 28 FIFA executive committee members.
FIFA's ethics committee said accepting such valuable gifts violates its rules and has demanded that all the watches be returned by Oct. 24 otherwise it will launch disciplinary proceedings.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.