How Blatter, Platini were nailed

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sepp-blatter-fifaRecommendations by the ethics committee have sent Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini out of the football governing bodies on several grounds.

According to the report, the payment made in February 2011 had “no legal basis” in the contract signed by both men when Platini started working for Blatter on 25 August, 1999.

Also, both men’s explanation that there was an “oral agreement” over the payment was rejected as “not convincing”.

In the same vein, Blatter’s actions was said to have not shown “commitment to an ethical attitude”, and both men were found to be in “a conflict of interest”.

Platini also failed to act with “complete credibility and integrity” and showed “unawareness of the importance of his duties”.

The committee said there was “not sufficient evidence” to establish the payment was a bribe, but both men demonstrated an “abusive execution” of their positions.

They were found guilty of breaches surrounding a £1.3m ($2m) “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011.

The FIFA ethics committee found Blatter and Platini had demonstrated an “abusive execution” of their positions.

“I will fight for me and for FIFA,” Blatter, 79, said at a news conference.

Michel PlatiniPlatini said the decision was a “masquerade” intended to “dirty” his name.

Both men continue to deny wrongdoing and intend to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Swiss Blatter and 60-year-old Frenchman Platini have also been fined £33,700 ($40,000) and £54,000 ($80,000) respectively.

FIFA boss since 1998, Blatter had already announced he was quitting with a presidential election in February.

Platini was tipped as a future leader of football’s world governing body and is a three-time European Footballer of the Year.

He is also a former captain of France and has been in charge of UEFA – European football’s governing body – since 2007.

Blatter – ‘I will fight’

Unshaven and sporting a plaster over his right cheek, Blatter was in defiant mood at a news conference he had called in advance of the punishments being made public.

“I will fight,” he said. “I will fight for me and for FIFA.”

He said he was “really sorry” that he is still “a punching ball” and that he has become tainted in the eyes of humanity.

He added that he thought he had convinced the FIFA ethics tribunal that the payment from FIFA to Platini was legitimate.

He plans to appeal, first to FIFA, then CAS. He may also take legal action under Swiss law if needed.

“If we had awarded the World Cup in 2022 the USA, we would not be here,” he added.

Platini – ‘At peace with my conscience’

“The decision is no surprise to me,” he said in a statement. “The procedure initiated against me by FIFA’s ethics committee is a pure masquerade.

“It has been rigged to tarnish my name by bodies I know well and who for me are bereft of all credibility or legitimacy.”

In the meantime, UEFA has issued a statement, revealing it is “extremely disappointed” with the decision.

It added: “Once again, UEFA supports Michel Platini’s right to a due process and the opportunity to clear his name.”

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