Blatter, Platini lose FIFA appeals


FIFA president, Sepp Blatter and his UEFA counterpart, Michel Platini both lost their appeals on Wednesday against their interim 90-day bans for financial wrongdoing in the growing corruption scandal that has shaken world soccer.

Platini’s lawyers quickly criticised a “uniquely one-sided, unjust and biased” investigation against him, and claimed it had taken more than two weeks to notify them of a FIFA appeals committee verdict dated November 3.

“It (FIFA) is also organising — and is no longer even hiding it — a deliberate and unacceptable strategy of delaying Michel Platini’s campaign for the FIFA presidency,” a spokesman for the former France great’s Paris-based legal firm said in a statement.

The provisional ban stops Platini working as UEFA president and halted his candidature for the FIFA election on February 26. Blatter is also barred from his FIFA presidential office after 17 years.

Platini and Blatter can file further appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, where appellants can choose one of the three lawyers to judge their case.

“This decision is not a surprise,” said the spokesman for Platini’s law firm Clifford Chance. The statement noted that sport’s highest court was free of the “pressures exerted within FIFA. He has full trust in CAS to re-establish all of his rights.”

The bans were imposed last month by FIFA’s ethics committee pending full investigations into a $2 million payment Blatter approved for Platini in 2011 as backdated salary. Platini was employed by Blatter as a presidential adviser from 1998-2002.

Both men deny wrongdoing, though they have acknowledged there was no written contract for the extra salary.

Blatter and Platini are expected to appear before FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert in December and face lengthy bans if misconduct is found proven.