Blatter, Platini banned from football for eight years
The ethics committee of soccer governing body FIFA has banned embattled President Sepp Blatter and his one-time protege from the sport for eight years.
The committee took the action against Blatter and Michel Platini, the head of the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) on Monday over a $2 million payment Blatter made to Platini in 2011. Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the payment.
The ban will likely derail Platini’s bid to succeed Blatter when elections are held in February. Both men, who have denied any wrongdoing, are expected to appeal to the FIFA appeals committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Blatter and Platini had both been provisionally banned since October because of the controversial payment.
FIFA has been embroiled in scandal after 14 FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich in May and charged in the United States with nearly 50 counts of corruption, including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering. Swiss officials have also opened a separate criminal investigation involving FIFA’s selection of Russia and Qatar to host the World Cup tournaments in 2018 and 2022 respectively.
(Photo of Blatter: Roosewelt Pinheiro/Abr – Agência Brasil)