FIFA investigators to seek longer Blatter, Platini bans

Photo credit: AFP

Photo credit: AFP

FIFA corruption investigators will demand an extension to the eight-year bans ordered against world football leaders Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini last month, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The anti-corruption investigators had originally sought a life ban against the two most powerful men in football over a two million Swiss franc ($2 million/1.8 million euro) payment that Blatter authorized for Platini.

“The investigatory chamber intends to appeal against the decision for Mr Blatter and Mr Platini at the FIFA appeal committee,” FIFA ethics committee spokesman Andreas Bantel told AFP.

Blatter and Platini were suspended from all football activity for eight years by a FIFA tribunal on December 21. The ethics judges rejected corruption charges but said the pair had abused their positions in making the payment.

Both have denied any wrongdoing and vowed appeals to FIFA as well as the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Swiss courts if necessary. Platini lodged his appeal at FIFA on Monday, his entourage said.

Blatter, who has led FIFA for 17 years, said the payment to Platini, the president of Europe’s governing body UEFA, was for consultancy work carried out between 1999 and 2002.

They have said there was only an oral contract for the accord but insisted it is legal.

Blatter, 79, was to stand down at a FIFA congress on February 26 when a special election is to be held. But the suspension has devastated 60-year-old Platini’s hopes of becoming FIFA leader. The Frenchman announced last week that he was withdrawing from the FIFA race to concentrate on clearing his name.

FIFA appeals committee rarely reduces sanctions imposed by the governing body’s ethics or disciplinary panels.

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