Fifa president Sepp Blatter and UEFA boss Michel Platini have been suspended for eight years from all football-related activities following an ethics investigation.
The committee found that: “Mr Blatter, in his position as president of Fifa, authorised the payment to Mr Platini which had no legal basis in the written agreement signed between both officials on 25 August 1999. Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Mr 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.”
In essence, they were found guilty of breaches surrounding a £1.3m ($2m) “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011.
Blatter and Platini have also been fined £33,700 ($40,000) and £54,000 ($80,000) respectively.
Blatter and Platini are facing charges including corruption, conflict of interest and non-cooperation. They had said that the payment was honoring an agreement made for work carried out between 1999 and 2002, when Platini worked as a technical adviser for the FIFA president.
Platini had been tipped as a future leader in FIFA. The three time European Footballer of the Year and former captain of France’s career in the administrative section of football has been effectively derailed by this ban.
Blatter has however stated that he will be appealing the ban as he feels aggrieved by the actions of the world governing body.
“We will go once again to the Appeal Committee,” he said. “I’m a Swiss citizen. In the Swiss law you wouldn’t be suspended for eight years — you will have had to commit something very, very important.”
“I am fighting not for me, but as the elected President of FIFA … and they have cut me off,” Blatter added. “We have to defend ourselves, I hope Platini feels the same.”
Platini does feel the same as he too issued a statement saying he will be appealing the ban.
“This decision does not surprise me. The procedure committed by FIFA’s Ethics Committee against me is a real masquerade,” read a statement issued by Platini.
“FIFA’s Ethics Committee is designed to smear my name and which today I deny its very legitimacy and credibility.
“I am convinced that my fate was sealed before the hearing of December 18 and that this verdict is just a pathetic cover-up for a desire to eliminate me from the world of football.
“Parallel to going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, I am determined to apply to, at the right time, civil courts to obtain damages for all the prejudice I have suffered over very long weeks. I will keep fighting until the end of this process.”