Fifa: Sepp Blatter, Platini get 8 yr bans

via Fifa: Sepp Blatter, Platini get 8 yr bans – NewZimbabwe 21/12/2015 by Sky News

SEPP BLATTER has claimed he is sorry for FIFA and for football after condemning a decision to ban him and UEFA President Michel Platini from football for eight years.

FIFA’s former President came out fighting during a press conference at the football body’s headquarters in Zurich after the decision by its Independent Ethics Committee.

He said that the ethics committee had no right to go against the President and he could only be removed by the congress which is due to take place next year.

Without apologising for what he had done, he said he was sorry about what his suspension meant for FIFA and for its workers.

“I will fight. I am suspended for what?” he said.

“I’ve met with my lawyer. He is putting into question what is right and what is wrong and justice. We will go once again to the appeal committee.

“I’m a Swiss citizen. For a Swiss citizen to be suspended for eight years they must have to do something very very wrong.”

“They said you should have put it in your books. I agree with that. But it has nothing to do with ethics.”

The committee said in a statement that Blatter’s assertion that there had been an oral agreement between him and Platini over a £1.35m payment was not convincing.

As a result, it was determined that he had breached the rules on offering and accepting gifts and other benefits.

But the committee said there was not sufficient evidence to establish that he had been guilty of corruption under the terms of FIFA’s code of ethics.
Blatter was also fined 50,000 Swiss francs (£33,700) and Platini was fined 80,000 Swiss francs (£53,900).

Barring a successful appeal, the verdict effectively ends Platini’s chances of standing in the FIFA Presidential election in February.

It also ensures that Blatter’s 40 year career at FIFA ends in disgrace. He had hoped to be reinstated in order to preside over the electoral congress that will select his successor.

Both men claim the payment, which is also the subject of a Swiss criminal investigation, was for consultancy work carried out by Platini for Blatter between 1998 and 2002.

It was not made until February 2011 however, nine years after the work ended, and just three months before a FIFA Presidential election in which Mr Platini, then UEFA President, supported Blatter.

Platini claims that he agreed a CHF1m a-year contract with Blatter but was paid only half of that amount at the time, because FIFA was in financial trouble.

He says he then forgot to invoice for the balance until nine years later.

Blatter says he agreed the deal in a verbal contract and that the payment was legitimate.

The deal came to light as part of a criminal investigation by the Swiss attorney general into the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments.