FIFA reduces bans for Blatter, Platini from 8 to 6 years

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Baku, February 25, AZERTAC

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini had their bans from soccer reduced from eight years to six by FIFA’s appeal body on Wednesday, two days before the sport’s ruling body tries to turn the page on years of scandals by electing a new president, according to The Washington Post.

Blatter and Platini were initially found guilty of wrongdoing by FIFA’s independent ethics committee, which is led by a German judge, over a previously-secret 2011 financial transaction.

Platini, the UEFA president, said not being cleared was an “insulting decision, shameful and a denial of rights” - and announced he will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Blatter, as FIFA president, authorized a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2 million) to Platini which was found to be unethical and a conflict of interest.

But following hearings last week, an in-house appeal committee comprising members of federations voting in Friday’s presidential election decided to relax the suspensions. The committee is headed by Larry Mussenden of Bermuda, who is currently campaigning to win a May vote to become president of CONCACAF and a FIFA vice president.

“The appeal committee considered that Mr. Platini’s 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,” FIFA said in a statement.

Blatter was ordered to pay 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000) and Platini was fined 80,000 Swiss francs ($80,000).

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