Blatter and Platini banned for eight years

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Dec 22, 2021
  • Blatter vowed to fight on despite being slapped by a eight-year ban by the Ethics Committee. (Photo Courtesy Fifa)

  • Hans-Joachim EckhertChairman of the FIFA Ethics Committee said the ban of Blatter and Platini took effect immediately. (Photo Courtesy FIFA)

Sepp Blatter who has been banned from FIFA for eight years for alleged unethical conduct is not ready to relinquish his hold on the soccer body.

Immediately Blatter and Michel Platini, a FIFA vice president were banned by FIFA's ethics committee, Blatter, 79 told a press conference on Monday that he will fight to the end.

Blatter was banned following a $2 million payment to Platini who is also the president of UEFA, the governing body of European soccer.

Before being banned by the Ethics Committee, Blatter and Platini had been suspended from FIFA for 90 days. The suspension saw Platini's chance to succeed Blatter as FIFA president at the February 26, 2021 elections take a big punch below the belt.

A statement posted on the FIFA website said the ban by the Ethics Committee chaired by Hans-Joachim Ekhert comes into effect immediately. Eckhert explained the payment to Platini had no legal basis because the evidence which was presented was not sufficient.

The statement read:

The evidence available to the adjudicatory chamber in the present case was not sufficient to establish, to the extent required, that Mr Blatter sought the execution or omission of an official act from Mr Platini within the meaning of article 21 paragraph 1 of the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE) [Bribery and corruption].

However, the conduct of Mr Blatter towards Mr Platini without a legal basis constituted a breach of article 20 paragraph 1 of the FCE (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits).

Furthermore, Mr Blatter found himself in a situation of conflict of interest, despite which he continued to perform his related duties, failing to disclose said situation and the existence of personal interests linked to his prospective activities, thus violating article 19 paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of the FCE (Conflicts of interest).

By failing to place FIFA’s interests first and abstain from doing anything which could be contrary to FIFA’s interests, Mr Blatter violated his fiduciary duty to FIFA and breached article 15 of the FCE (Loyalty).

Mr Blatter’s actions did not show commitment to an ethical attitude, failing to respect all applicable laws and regulations as well as FIFA’s regulatory framework to the extent applicable to him and demonstrating an abusive execution of his position as President of FIFA, hence violating article 13 of the FCE (General rules of conduct).

Robert Torres, a member of the investigatory committee of the Ethics Commission conducted Blatter's case.

The proceedings against Mr Platini primarily related to a payment of $2 million that he received in February 2011 from FIFA. The payment to Mr Platini had no legal basis in the written agreement signed between both officials on 25 August 1999.

Mr Platini’s assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber.

The evidence available to the adjudicatory chamber in the present case was not sufficient to establish, to the extent required, that Mr Platini obtained the payment for the execution or omission of an official act within the meaning of article 21 paragraph 1 of the FCE (Bribery and corruption).

Nevertheless, the conduct of Mr Platini without a legal basis constituted a breach of article 20 paragraph 1 of the FCE (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits).

Furthermore, Mr Platini found himself in a situation of conflict of interest, despite which he continued to perform his related duties, failing to disclose said situation and the existence of personal interests linked to his prospective activities in violation of article 19 paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of the FCE (Conflicts of interest).

By failing to place FIFA’s interests first and abstain from doing anything which could be contrary to FIFA’s interests, Mr Platini also violated his fiduciary duty to FIFA and breached article 15 of the FCE (Loyalty).

In addition, Mr Platini failed to act with complete credibility and integrity, showing unawareness of the importance of his duties and concomitant obligations and responsibilities.

His actions did not show commitment to an ethical attitude, failing to respect all applicable laws and regulations as well as FIFA’s regulatory framework to the extent applicable to him and demonstrating an abusive execution of his position as Vice-President of FIFA and member of the FIFA Executive Committee, hence violating article 13 of the FCE (General rules of conduct).

The investigation into the case of Mr Platini was conducted by Ms Vanessa Allard, member of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee.

FIFA Website