Blatter, Platini bans could be extended

Fifa's suspended president Sepp Blatter at a news conference in Zurich, Switzerland on Dec 21, 2015.
Fifa's suspended president Sepp Blatter at a news conference in Zurich, Switzerland on Dec 21, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

ZURICH • Fifa ethics investigators said yesterday they planned an appeal that could extend eight-year bans on world football body president Sepp Blatter and European football boss Michel Platini, raising the possibility of lifelong exclusion.

Blatter and Platini were both banned from football last month for ethics violations, leaving the global game leaderless as it seeks to dig itself out from beneath a slew of corruption cases.

Both have denied wrongdoing.

The two escaped potential lifetime bans demanded by the committee's investigatory arm when the panel's adjudicatory chamber found no evidence of bribery linked to a 2 million Swiss franc (S$2.87 million) payment Fifa made to Platini in 2011, with Blatter's approval.

"We have announced we plan to appeal the eight-year bans against Platini and Blatter," investigatory panel spokesman Andreas Bantel told reporters in Zurich, where Fifa has its headquarters.

While Blatter and Platini have said the panel was seeking a lifetime ban from the sport, Bantel said he declined to comment on the content of its appeal.

Blatter has said he feels "abandoned" by the global football body and will now focus on clearing his name through his own appeal.

The Swiss, normally a central figure in the Fifa Ballon d'Or award ceremony, was not involved on Monday.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2016, with the headline 'Blatter, Platini bans could be extended'. Print Edition | Subscribe