FIFA upholds lengthy bans for Blatter and Platini

Dec 19 2017, 8:21 pm

The FIFA appeals committee has upheld lengthy bans for former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, 79, and UEFA president Michel Platini, 60, relating to a ₤1.35m payment made to Platini in 2011.

The payment was in return for work Platini did as an advisor to FIFA between 1998 and 2002, but the debt was only a verbal agreement between the disgraced executives, and was never formally recorded.

FIFA’s head of financial compliance Domenico Scala said in October 2015 that the arrangement was “classic conflict of interest”, and the pair was immediately suspended for 90 days while FIFA’s ethics committee investigated two of the most powerful men in the world of soccer.

While the pair was ultimately found guilty, they were successful in having the length of their bans reduced from 8 to 6 years respectively. Both men have maintained their innocence in the case and have stated that they will now appeal the FIFA decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In addition to the conflict of interest case, Blatter, who held the top job at FIFA for 17 years until his resignation in June 2015, is reportedly still under investigation by the US Department of Justice and the FBI for alleged corruption and bribery in relation to the awarding of lucrative marketing and television rights during the 1990s, and for the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments to be held in Russia and the Gulf state of Qatar.

The election to choose Blatter’s replacement as FIFA president will take place on Friday, February 26th, 2016.