ZURICH: Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini can launch appeals against their eight-year suspensions from all football after being issued with the written grounds for the sentences handed down by the FIFA ethics committee just before Christmas writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The fact that the disgraced presidents of the world federation and European governing body UEFA have received their reasoning raises significant concerns over judicial fair play when at least two other officials punished much earlier last year remain in limbo, still awaiting their paperwork.

A statement from the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, chaireed by German judge, Hans-Joachim Eckert said it had “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.

“After receiving the grounds for the decisions, both officials may lodge an appeal with the FIFA Appeal Committee.”

In practice the appeal committee is virtually guaranteed to uphold the suspensions but that is an essential step before Blatter and Platini can take substantive appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


Platini has given up hope of being able to prove his innocence before FIFA elects a new president, in succession to Blatter, on February 26. However he will hope to obtain a judgment from sport’s supreme court before UEFA stages what would otherwise be an election to choose his replacement at the start of June.

Both Blatter and Platini have denied all wrongdoing over the payment in Februry 2011 of SFr2m from FIFA to the Frenchman, on Blatter’s authorisation.

Platini had claimed it was a final instalment payment due for work undertaken at FIFA between 1999 and 2002 but failed to come to offer any plausible reason for the nine-year delay in payment. Both men also described the payment as agreed under an “oral contract” which the ethics committee, effectively, dismissed as a nonsense.

** The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has extended the suspension of Thailand’s former FIFA exco member Worawi Makudi by 45 days, at the request of the investigatory chamber.