Blatter, Platini banned by FIFA for eight years

Sepp Blatter

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini have each received eight-year bans from football activity from FIFA’s Independent Ethics Committee.

The Committee had been investigating an uncontracted payment of $2 million Blatter made to Platini in February 2011 for Platini’s work as an advisor in 1999-2002. Although Platini had signed a contract for his work, Blatter argued the two had a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ for Platini to receive further payment in the future during an eight-hour hearing on Thursday.

According to FIFA’s statement, this was not a legal reason to explain the payment:

“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.”

The payment did not appear on FIFA’s records and came weeks before Blatter defeated Mohammad Bin Hammam in a heavily contested presidential election. Platini had argued that the payment was delayed because FIFA could not afford to pay him at the time. He refused to appear at the hearing and protested the investigation as being politically motivated.

“Mr Platini’s assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber,” FIFA’s statement said.

“The evidence available to the adjudicatory chamber in the present case was not sufficient to establish, to the extent required, that Mr Platini obtained the payment for the execution or omission of an official act… Mr Platini found himself in a situation of conflict of interest, despite which he continued to perform his related duties…By failing to place FIFA’s interests first and abstain from doing anything which could be contrary to FIFA’s interests, Mr Platini also violated his fiduciary duty to FIFA.”

Blatter was also fined 50,000 Swiss francs and Platini was fined 80,000 Swiss francs. Both figures said they will appeal their bans to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

  • HydraHamster

    Do Blatter even have 8 years in him to return to FIFA?