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Platini, Blatter fight life bans

By Martyn Ziegler

Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter are facing possible lifetime bans on corruption charges brought by FIFA's ethics committee.

Uefa president Platini's lawyer has confirmed the recommendation by ethics investigators is for a lifetime ban for the Frenchman and it is believed that the same recommended sanction applies to the case of outgoing FIFA president Blatter.

The recommended sanctions relate to corruption charges brought over a £1.3million payment made to Platini from FIFA in 2011 that was signed off by Blatter.

The pair also face charges of mismanagement, conflict of interest, false accounting and non co-operation with or criticising the ethics committee.

It is understood Blatter is also facing corruption charges, which under Court of Arbitration for Sport guidelines carry a lifetime ban if proved.

Blatter's spokesman Klaus Stoehlker said the 79-year-old had yet to be informed of the recommended sanction but was "deeply surprised" to learn of that facing Platini.

Both men are currently serving a provisional 90-day suspension.

Blatter is also considering an attempt to go over the head of the ethics committee, claiming it does not have the power to remove him as president.

Stoehlker said: "Mr Blatter was elected by the FIFA congress and only the congress can remove his power."

Platini's lawyer Thibaut D'Ales added: "This ban is subject to corruption being proved but it is clearly a disproportionate punishment.

"There is clearly a desire to harm. The masks are slipping one by one in FIFA, the electoral calendar is being manipulated and there is a strategy to eliminate Platini as a candidate."

A decision is expected before Christmas.

Belfast Telegraph


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