Sunday 15 September 2019

Blatter and Platini face Fifa bans of at least six years

Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter face FIFA bans of at least six years
Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter face FIFA bans of at least six years

Martyn Ziegler

The formal Fifa hearings into whether Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini breached the ruling body's ethics code will take place later this month, with the organisation's investigatory committee understood to be calling for bans of at least six years.

Hans-Joachim Eckert, the German judge who heads the adjudicatory chamber of Fifa's ethics committee, has opened proceedings against the pair after studying reports from investigators.

Outgoing Fifa president Blatter and Uefa president Platini, already serving 90-day suspensions, are accused of several breaches of Fifa's ethics code over a €1.85m payment made to Platini in 2011. A decision is expected before Christmas.

The size of any ban will be based on four potential ethics code breaches: mismanagement, conflict of interest, false accounting and non co-operation with or criticising the ethics committee. South Korea's former Fifa vice-president Chung Mong-joon was banned for six years last month and the allegations are at least as serious as those he was sanctioned for.

Blatter has revealed he was "close to death" after collapsing this month. The 79-year-old fainted while visiting his parents' grave with family members. He has since been released from hospital but admitted the health scare was very serious.

"The pressure on me was enormous," he said. "It came to the point where my body said: 'Stop. Enough is enough'.

"I was close to death. I sat between angels singing and the fire of the devil."

Irish Independent

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