Art And Culture

FIFA Bans Blatter, Platini for 8 Years

FIFA Bans Blatter, Platini for 8 YearsFIFA Bans Blatter, Platini for 8 Years

Suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter and European soccer boss Michel Platini were both banned from all soccer-related activities for eight years on Monday by the Ethics Committee of football’s global governing body.

The pair, who were also fined, had been suspended for 90 days in October while an investigation was carried out into a 2 million Swiss franc ($2.02 million) payment by FIFA to Platini in 2011 for work as a presidential adviser from 1999-2002. Both men denied any wrongdoing, reports

The decision, which comes as a corruption scandal swirls around FIFA, means that Blatter’s 17 years at the helm of world soccer will end in disgrace, and likely spells the end of Platini’s hopes of replacing the 79-year-old Swiss in the February election.

Platini, a former France international who was one of the finest players of his generation and had led the European soccer body UEFA since 2002, had been the favorite to win that election until he was suspended.

The ethics inquiry began in the wake of the Swiss attorney general’s decision to open criminal proceedings against Blatter over the payment to Platini. The office is also investigating the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals to Russia and Qatar.

Ethics judges ruled that Blatter broke FIFA Code of Ethics rules on conflicts of interest, breach of loyalty and offering gifts.

Platini broke rules on conflict of interest and loyalty.

Blatter was fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,250) and Platini was fined 80,000 Swiss francs ($80,400).

“Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Blatter able to demonstrate another legal basis for this payment,” the judges said. “By failing to place FIFA’s interests first and abstain from doing anything which could be contrary to FIFA’s interests, he violated his fiduciary duty to FIFA.”

“Platini failed to act with complete credibility and integrity, showing unawareness of the importance of his duties and concomitant obligations and responsibilities,” the judges said.

Blatter and Platini previously said they would challenge any sanctions at the FIFA appeals committee, then the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In the United States, prosecutors have indicted 27 current or former soccer officials, including eight former FIFA executive committee members, over allegations that they ran bribery schemes connected to the sale of television rights for soccer competitions.

Twelve people and two sports marketing companies have also been convicted.