Thursday 27 October 2016

FIFA's ethics committee understood to be seeking lengthy bans for Blatter and Platini

Published 21/11/2015 | 13:51

Michel Platini and outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter
Michel Platini and outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter

FIFA's ethics committee has concluded investigations into suspended president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini and is understood to be seeking lengthy bans for the pair.

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A statement from the investigatory chamber of the committee said final reports had been submitted containing "requests for sanctions" over a £1.3million payment made to Platini by FIFA in 2011.

It is understood this request will be for bans of several years based on four potential ethics code breaches: mismanagement, conflict of interest, false accounting and non co-operation with or criticising the ethics committee.

There was no written agreement for the 2million Swiss franc payment - Blatter and Platini say it was an oral agreement made between them 13 years previously. It is also being investigated by Swiss legal authorities as a "disloyal payment", and the fact they did not report it the outstanding debt to FIFA's financial department in the intervening years could be a case of false accounting.

The next step is for Hans-Joachin Eckert, the German judge who heads the adjudicatory panel of the ethics committee, to decide whether to summon Platini and Blatter to disciplinary hearings. He is likely to make that decision early next week after studying the investigators' report.

Blatter and Platini had appeals against their bans dismissed by FIFA's appeals committee earlier this week and on Friday the latter - who wants to stand to be Blatter's replacement in February - took his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

An ethics committee statement said: "The investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has submitted its final reports containing requests for sanctions against Joseph Blatter and Michel Platini to the adjudicatory chamber chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert.

"The final report regarding Joseph S. Blatter was submitted by Robert Torres, the report regarding Michel Platini was submitted by Vanessa Allard. For reasons linked to privacy rights and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the chamber will not publish details of the concluded reports and the requested sanctions against the two officials."

Blatter said earlier this week that he was disappointed to have lost his initial appeal and that there was no evidence of improper conduct relating to the payment to Platini.

A spokesman for Eckert said in a statement: "The adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert has today received the final reports concerning the investigations against Joseph S. Blatter and Michel Platini carried out by the investigatory chamber.

"The adjudicatory chamber will study the reports carefully and decide in due course about whether to institute formal adjudicatory proceedings against Joseph S. Blatter and Michel Platini."

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