FIFA slams Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini with eight-year ban

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter

The duo of Sepp Blatter and UEFA, boss Michel Platini, have been handed lengthy bans of up to eight years from all football-related activities following an ethics investigation.

The two guilty football big heads have also been fined £33,700 ($40,000) and £54,000 ($80,000) respectively.

They were found guilty of breaches surrounding a £1.3m ($2m) “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011. Although both men denied any wrongdoing, the bans pronounced on Monday came into force immediately.

Blatter, who has been Fifa boss since 1998, had already announced he was quitting ahead of February’s presidential election.

However, Platini was tipped by many as a future leader of football’s world governing body and had hoped to succeed Blatter.

Part of the statement on the FIFA website on Monday’s ruling read: “The adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee chaired by Mr Hans Joachim Eckert has banned Mr Joseph S. Blatter, president of FIFA, for eight years and Mr Michel Platini, vice-president and member of the executive committee of FIFA and president of UEFA, for eight years from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) on a national and international level. The bans come into force immediately.

“The proceedings against Mr Blatter primarily related to a payment of CHF 2,000,000 transferred in February 2011 from FIFA to Mr Platini. Mr Blatter, in his position as president of FIFA, authorised the payment to Mr Platini which had no legal basis in the written agreement signed between both officials on 25 August 1999. Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Mr Blatter able to demonstrate another legal basis for this payment. His assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber.

“The evidence available to the adjudicatory chamber in the present case was not sufficient to establish, to the extent required, that Mr Blatter sought the execution or omission of an official act from Mr Platini within the meaning of article 21 paragraph 1 of the FIFA code of ethics (FCE) (bribery and corruption).

“However, the conduct of Mr Blatter towards Mr Platini without a legal basis constituted a breach of article 20 paragraph 1 of the FCE (offering and accepting gifts and other benefits).

“Furthermore, Mr Blatter found himself in a situation of conflict of interest, despite which he continued to perform his related duties, failing to disclose said situation and the existence of personal interests linked to his prospective activities, thus violating article 19 paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of the FCE (conflicts of interest).

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