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FIFA bans Sepp Blatter, Platini for eight years

An ethics tribunal of scandal-plagued FIFA on Monday banned Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini for eight years saying they had abused their positions over a 2 million Swiss francs payment made to Platini.

The sentence against the two most powerful men in football stunningly highlighted the troubles faced by the world’s most popular sport where billions of dollars have been invested in recent years.

Blatter, 79, and Platini, 60, were “immediately” banned from all football activity. Blatter’s career is now almost certainly over while Platini’s hopes of taking over FIFA are all but finished.

Blatter, FIFA’s president since 1998, was fined 50,000 Swiss francs (50,000/46,300 euros). Platini, the head of UEFA, Europe’s governing body and a FIFA vice president, was fined 80,000 Swiss francs. A statement by the court said both showed “abusive execution” of their powers.

FIFA had looked into a two million Swiss francs payment authorised by Blatter to Platini in 2011. They said it was for work as a consultant carried out between 1999 and 2002.

While the FIFA court dropped corruption charges against both men, it said both were guilty of a conflict of interest.

It said there was “no legal basis” for the payment in an oral agreement between the two officials in August 1999.

“Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Blatter able to demonstrate another legal basis for this payment. His assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber.”
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