FIFA’s Ethics Committee has banned Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini from all football-related activities for eight years, it has emerged.
Football’s world governing body’s Ethics Committee ruled Monday that both FIFA president, Blatter and his UEFA (European football’s governing body) counterpart Platini had broken FIFA Code of Ethics relating to conflicts of interest, breach of loyalty and gifts.
The pair were however cleared of bribery and corruption allegations.
“The adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee chaired by Mr Hans‑Joachim Eckert has banned Mr Joseph S. Blatter, President of FIFA, for eight years and Mr Michel Platini, Vice-President and member of the Executive Committee of FIFA and President of UEFA, for eight years from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) on a national and international level,” the FIFA statement read.
“The bans come into force immediately.”
The pair had faced disciplinary hearings before FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert in Zurich Thursday and Friday bordering on corruption, conflict of interest and non-cooperation, over a $2 million payment made to Platini in 2011 by world football’s governing body and signed off by Blatter.
Both men denied any wrongdoing and said the payment was honoring an agreement made in 1998 for work carried out between 1998 and 2002, when Platini worked as a technical adviser for the FIFA president.
Blatter and Platini were provisionally suspended by FIFA for 90 days in October — alongside FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke — with both immediately appealing the decision.
Platini, was hoping to replace Blatter as the head of FIFA at the February 26 election, however, the ban has killed off his chances.
The football honchos may decide to challenge the decision at the FIFA Appeal Committee and then at Court of Arbitration for Sports.