Disgraced FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, the head of European soccer body, will be able to appeal their eight-year bans after the sport’s global governing body provided them with full, written reasons for their suspensions Saturday. Platini is reportedly expected to begin his appeal Monday.
A statement from FIFA’s ethics committee said: “The adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee has fulfilled its commitment to provide the grounds for the respective decisions to Mr. Blatter and Mr. Platini within the first half of January 2016 as they had previously been informed.”
Platini, the president of Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), had withdrawn his candidacy for FIFA's presidency Thursday. Initially seen as the favorite to replace Blatter in the upcoming Feb. 26 election, Platini said he was determined to fight the charges leveled against him but the deadline for the elections was too short to mount a convincing campaign.
"I withdraw my candidacy. I can no longer [go through with it]. I have neither the time, nor the means to go and see the voters, to meet people, and to fight with others," he reportedly said.
Last month, FIFA refused Platini’s request to bypass its ethics committee and appeal directly to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Blatter and Platini were both banned for eight years over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.01 million) made to the Frenchman by FIFA with Blatter's approval in 2011. Both have denied any wrongdoing and the payment was made on the basis of a verbal agreement between them 13 years back when Platini worked as Blatter’s technical adviser.
Earlier this week, the ethics panel recommended a nine-year suspension along with a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs ($100,526) on corruption charges for Jérôme Valcke, FIFA’s former secretary general and Blatter’s right-hand man.
At least 41 soccer officials and sports entities have been indicted on corruption charges in the ongoing scandal.