Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have both been been banned for eight years from all football-related activities, FIFA’s ethics committee has announced.
The bans have been imposed by FIFA’s ethics committee judge Hans-Joachim Eckert for a “disloyal payment” of 2million Swiss francs (£1.3million) to Platini, signed off by Blatter.
Blatter has also been fined 50,000 Swiss francs (£33,700) and Platini 80,000 Swiss francs (£54,000) after being found guilty of ethics code breaches including conflict of interest.
Blatter arrives for his press conference in Zurich (with plaster on face) pic.twitter.com/95UjwBPplr
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) December 21, 2015
The charges found proven included offering and accepting gifts, conflict of interest, and violating their fiduciary duty to FIFA.
A statement from the ethics committee says: “Mr Blatter’s actions did not show commitment to an ethical attitude, failing to respect all applicable laws and regulations as well as FIFA’s regulatory framework to the extent applicable to him and demonstrating an abusive execution of his position as president of FIFA, hence violating article 13 of the FCE (general rules of conduct).”
It adds: “Mr Platini failed to act with complete credibility and integrity, showing unawareness of the importance of his duties and concomitant obligations and responsibilities.
“His actions did not show commitment to an ethical attitude, failing to respect all applicable laws and regulations as well as FIFA’s regulatory framework to the extent applicable to him and demonstrating an abusive execution of his position as vice-president of FIFA and member of the FIFA executive committee.”
Outgoing FIFA president Blatter and UEFA president Platini had claimed the payment had been made in 2011 following a verbal agreement between the pair when the Frenchman worked for Blatter from 1998 to 2002.
The explanation was rejected as “not convincing” by the ethics committee, who added that the evidence has not been sufficient to secure charges of corruption.
Blatter, 79, is due to appear at a news conference on Monday morning in Zurich at FIFA’s former headquarters. He has hired it as a private citizen, but it still houses FIFA’s marketing department. He has already claimed in media interviews that the ethics committee has no power to remove him as president.
Both Platini and Blatter are likely to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but their careers in football politics appear over.
Platini, 60, had aimed to succeed Blatter as FIFA president in February’s election but those hopes have effectively ended.
Blatter’s personal adviser Klaus Stoehlker has confirmed to Press Association Sport that the 79-year-old will appeal against the ban, and is prepared to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.