A FIFA ethics regulator Thursday suspended soccer's world governing body president Sepp Blatter and Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) chief Michel Platini for 90 days after their names emerged in a Swiss corruption case. The bans ended Blatter’s 17-year reign and ruined Platini’s hopes to replace him.
The suspension comes into effect immediately. The governing body has prohibited Blatter and Platini “from all football activities on a national and international level,” according to a statement released by the ethics committee.
FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke also joined the suspension league, with a 90-day ban. The bans for all three officials can be extended up to 45 days. In addition, former FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-joon has also been banned for six years and fined 100,000 Swiss Francs ($103,340), the committee said, in the statement.
The ethics committee launched an investigation into Blatter after Swiss attorney general began criminal proceedings against him. The 79-year-old has been accused of signing a contract and making a $2 million payment to Platini.
Blatter is also at the center of investigation for signing a television-rights contract alleged to be “unfavorable” to FIFA with Jack Warner, former head of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. Warner has since been banned from soccer for life by FIFA for repeated misconduct.
Following his win in May re-election amid the biggest corruption scandal in FIFA's history, Blatter called for a fresh election and said he would not be standing. The new vote is scheduled for February.
Accordig to FIFA’s rules of succession, Issa Hayatou, the leader of African soccer’s governing body, will reportedly serve as the association's acting president as he is currently the most senior vice president at FIFA.