Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini could face even longer bans after FIFA’s ethics investigatory chamber confirmed it is appealing to increase the eight-year suspensions handed down to the two most powerful people in world football.
Blatter and Platini have themselves appealed against the eight-year bans imposed by the ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber last month, but now face a counter-appeal from the investigators who had originally sought a lifetime ban.
The bans were imposed over a £1.3million payment made to UEFA president Platini, signed off by FIFA president Blatter, in 2011 which they said was to settle a verbal agreement made 13 years beforehand.
A spokesman for FIFA’s ethics investigatory chamber told Press Association Sport: “I can confirm that we intend to appeal.”
FIFA’s appeal committee will hear the appeals from Blatter, Platini and the investigatory chamber. The case can then go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Platini worked for Blatter as technical adviser between 1998 and 2002, when he was elected to the FIFA and UEFA executive committees.
Although he was paid a contracted wage at the time, the Frenchman has said an oral agreement was made with Blatter for him to be paid a further 2million Swiss francs at a later date due to FIFA’s financial position at the time.
FIFA’s ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, however, banned the pair on charges including offering and accepting gifts, conflict of interest, and violating their fiduciary duty to FIFA. Blatter was also fined 50,000 Swiss francs (£33,700) and Platini 80,000 Swiss francs (£54,000).
Eckert’s findings stated: “The payment to Mr Platini had no legal basis in the written agreement signed between both officials on 25 August 1999. Mr Platini’s assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber.”
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Platini announced last week that he has withdrawn his candidacy for the election to succeed Blatter as FIFA president on February 26.
Five candidates remain in the election race: Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa from Bahrain, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, former FIFA deputy secretary general Jerome Champagne from France, South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale and Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan.
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