Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini banned from FIFA
Incumbent FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA head Michel Platini have been banned from FIFA for eight years. The duo were found guilty of breaching FIFA’s code of ethics, after being investigated by an ethics committee.
As part of their ban, Blatter and Platini cannot take part in any football-related activities, with immediate effect. The pair were already banned for 90 days in October, but have had their careers effectively ended with this verdict, given their ages.
Blatter and Platini were charged with ‘conflicts of interest, false accounting and non co-operation’ by the ethics committee. The ‘guilty’ verdict revolves around the pair breaching FIFA’s code of ethics – specifically a $1.94 million payment made to Platini in 2011. The pair claimed that it was a valid payment for Platini, in lieu of services rendered to FIFA as a technical advisor for the period of 1998 – 2002.
The payment was not written into Platini’s contract, with the pair claiming it was a verbal agreement, which is legal under Swiss law, where FIFA is headquartered. However, Hans-Joachim Eckert, Chairman of FIFA’s adjudicatory body, did not find that explanation satisfactory and has found the pair guilty.
Blatter was unhappy with judicial proceedings
The adjuticatory statement read, “The proceedings against Mr Blatter primarily related to a payment of CHF 2,000,000 transferred in February 2011 from Fifa to Mr Platini. 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 former FIFA President, has been under intense scrutiny, and recently voiced his displeasure with the proceedings, likening them to the Spanish Inquisition. In a letter to FIFA members, he said, “The way in which the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee has communicated on the current proceedings, demanded the maximum penalty and reinforced public prejudgement has reached a tendentious and dangerous dimension. These proceedings remind me of the Inquisition.”
Blatter is no stranger to monetary issues. Here’s a clip of the last time he was troubled by currency :