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FIFA: Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini get eight-year bans

A FIFA ethics tribunal on Monday banned Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini for eight years saying they had abused their positions over a suspect 2 million Swiss franc payment, AFP reports.
The court strongly criticised the FIFA President and Vice-president, saying there was “no legal basis” for the payment that Blatter authorised for Platini in 2011.
While full-blown corruption charges were dropped, both men angrily rejected the verdict and vowed to appeal.
Blatter said he felt betrayed and declared, “I will fight to the end.”
French legend Platini called the verdict a “masquerade” for an attempt to exclude him from world football.
The ban, which starts immediately, could however bring an inglorious end to 79-year-old Blatter’s four decades with FIFA. It is also a devastating blow to Platini’s hopes of taking over as head of football’s world governing body in an election on February 26.
Blatter, FIFA’s president since 1998, was fined 50,000 Swiss francs while Platini, the head of UEFA, Europe’s governing body, was fined 80,000 Swiss francs.
FIFA suspended the pair and launched an inquiry in October after Swiss prosecutors placed Blatter under investigation for criminal mismanagement over the two million Swiss franc payment that was caught with special software.
A statement by the FIFA tribunal said Blatter and Platini were guilty of “abusive execution” of their powers over the payment the two men said was for consultancy work carried out between 1999 and 2002.
The judges said there was a conflict of interest and “no legal basis” for the transfer in any written agreement.
The court said, “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.”
The judgement was even more damning of the French legend Platini.
“Mr Platini failed to act with complete credibility and integrity, showing unawareness of the importance of his duties and concomitant obligations and responsibilities.”
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