Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini handed eight-year football bans
Lee Gormley | December 21, 2015
Blatter and Platini suspended
Long-standing FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA boss Michel Platini have both been handed immediate eight-year suspensions from all football-related activities following an ethics investigation, with the two men guilty of huge financial breaches.
The pair were found guilty of breaches which surrounded a £1.3m “disloyal payment” which was made to Platini back in 2011, but they have still denied any wrongdoing, with their footballing bans taking immediate effect.
Blatter and Platini were both also fined £33,700 ($40,000) and £54,000 ($80,000) respectively for their unlawful actions.
Substantial suspensions for corrupt duo
Blatter has been FIFA boss since 1998 and the 79-year-old had already announced recently that he was to step down and quit his role ahead of February’s presidential election, while colleague Platini was set to challenge as his successor.
The latter Frenchman, now 60 years of age, was one of the front-runners to take up the job after Blatter’s reign had finally come to an end, but the future leader of football’s governing body is now come from elsewhere. There are five candidates to take charge, including Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Tokyo Sexwale, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Gianni Infantino and Jerome Champagne, as voting takes place on February 27th next year.
Platini, a three-time European Footballer of the Year and former captain of the France international side, who are 11/4 with Coral to win Euro 2016 next summer on home soil, had been in charge of Europe’s governing body since 2007.
Blatter’s spokesperson confirmed earlier that the Swiss native would be appealing the actions taken against him and is also prepared to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, with his fellow suspended ally Platini set to follow suit.
FIFA in turmoil
The latest suspensions come after FIFA was sent into meltdown several months ago, when numerous allegations of corruption broke and seven officials were arrested at a Zurich hotel in May.
Both men claim that the ‘disloyal payment’ in which they have been been found guilty of taking was honouring an agreement made in 1998 for work which was carried out between 1998 and 2002, when Platini worked as a technical advisor for Blatter.
The payment was not part of the latter Frenchman’s written contract but the duo insisted it was a verbal agreement, which is legal under Swiss law.
German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, the chairman of Fifa’s adjudicatory chamber, held disciplinary hearings for the pair last week, with their charges including conflict of interest, false accounting and non co-operation after investigators submitted more than 50 pages of evidence.
Both men’s reputations are undoubtedly ruined after such a huge ban from football for their involvement in these unlawful actions and, with plenty more potentially set to come out in the near future, they won’t be recovered anytime soon, as FIFA looks to banish this dark chapter.
Read our international football archive.