By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have lost their appeals against their 90-day provisional suspensions from all football-related activities imposed upon them by the FIFA Ethics Committee, whilst corruption charges made against them are investigated.
Blatter is accused of signing a contract “unfavourable” to FIFA and making a “disloyal payment” in 2011 of Sw. Frs. 2 million (€1.8 million) to Platini, who is accused of accepting it, claiming that it was remuneration for work properly done by him for FIFA between 1998 and 2002. This payment has been denounced as a “classic conflict of interest” by Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee.
The FIFA Ethics Committee Adjudicatory Panel will hold hearings before Christmas and decide the fate of these two most powerful men in football. If found guilty, Blatter and Platini will face lengthy bans from football activities. In the case of Platini, he would not be able to stand for FIFA President in the Election, which is due to be held by the FIFA Congress on 26 February, 2016, and he would also have to stand down as UEFA President!
Both men, who deny any wrongdoing, are expected to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decisions by the FIFA Appeal Committee upholding their suspensions. If successful before CAS, Platini will be allowed to take part in the FIFA Presidential Election.
This sad saga continues!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw is an International Sports Lawyer, Academic and Author, who may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’