ZURICH • A Fifa appeal committee reduced bans against Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini to six years but maintained they were still guilty of ethics breaches.
The bans against Blatter, Fifa president for 18 years, and Uefa president Platini were reduced from eight years to six by the appeal committee on Wednesday.
Both were found guilty of conflicts of interest when Blatter approved a 2 million Swiss francs (S$2.82 million) payment to Platini in 2011 for consultancy work done without a contract a decade earlier.
The Fifa appeal body said that the ethics tribunal did not take into account "some strong mitigating factors" when determining the eight-year sanction.
"In this sense, among others, the appeal committee considered that Mr Platini and Mr Blatter's activities and the services they had rendered to Fifa, Uefa and football in general over the years should deserve appropriate recognition as a mitigating factor."
That gesture failed to please Blatter, 79, or Platini, 60, with both vowing to take their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in an attempt to have their bans overturned. Blatter "is deeply disappointed (in) the Fifa appeal commission and will go further to CAS," said Thomas Renggli, a spokesman for the disgraced Fifa president.
French football legend Platini had been favourite to take over from Blatter at today's election but the ban demolished his hopes.
"The decision is insulting, shameful and is a violation of rights," he said in a statement. "The charges against me are baseless, built from the ground up and surreal in view of the facts and the explanations I gave during the hearing."