FIFA’s appeal committee has upheld bans on long-time President Sepp Blatter and European soccer head, Michel Platini, for ethics violations but reduced them to six years from eight, it said.
“The FIFA Appeal Committee has partially confirmed the decisions taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee on 17 and 18 December 2015 regarding Joseph S. Blatter and Michel Platini respectively.
“Their bans have been reduced from eight to six years,’’ it said in a statement.
The committee is chaired by Larry Mussenden (Bermuda).
The committee said that the contribution of both men to soccer over the years should have been taken into account as a mitigating factor.
However, it is useful only in reducing the length of the ban.
The only remaining route of appeal for Blatter, who is 80 next month, and Platini, 60, is with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.
Blatter and Platini were banned over a payment of two million Swiss francs (2.03 million dollars).
The disbursement was made to the Frenchman in 2011 by FIFA with Blatter’s approval for work done a decade earlier.
Blatter and Platini claimed the payment honoured a verbal or gentleman’s agreement made in 1998 for work carried out by the Frenchman when he was a technical advisor for Blatter.
The decision not to overturn the bans against the two highest-profile elected men in world soccer completes a shameful treble for the sport.
It followed the 12-year ban imposed on Jerome Valcke, who was sacked as FIFA’s secretary general last month.
Valcke, was found guilty of misconduct over the sale of World Cup tickets, abuse of travel expenses, attempting to sell TV rights below their market value and destruction of evidence.
He was the man responsible for running FIFA’s day-to-day administration.