(ATR) A successful appeal by FIFA ethics investigators to eight-year suspensions for Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini could result in them being handed lifetime bans from football.
"The investigatory chamber intends to appeal against the decision against Mr. Blatter and Mr. Platini at the appeal committee of FIFA," a spokesman tells Around the Rings.
Lifetime bans were recommended by the investigatory arm of FIFA’s ethics committee over the $2 million "disloyal" payment FIFA made to Platini in 2011, signed off by Blatter, for consultancy work the former UEFA chief carried out a decade earlier.
But the pair avoided life bans when FIFA’s top judge last month ruled they were not guilty of bribery. Instead, he dished out eight-year bans to both men for breaching seven ethics violations. They denied wrongdoing.
The disgraced football leaders this week confirmed they will launch appeals to the FIFA Appeals Committee after the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee on Saturday provided written reasons behind the sanctions.
An extension of the bans is possible, if an appeal against former FIFA executive committee member Vernon Manilal Fernando is anything to go by.Banned for eight years by FIFA’s ethics commission in 2013, the investigatory panel successfully appealed against what it claimed was a lenient ban. Six months later the FIFA’s Appeals Committee upgraded the sanction to a life ban, which was later upheld by the Court for Arbitration in Sport.
No Presidential TV Debate
In FIFA presidential news, ESPN confirmed Tuesday it had cancelled plans for a televised debate between the five contenders.
"Very disappointed that ESPN had to cancel the proposed live TV debate between FIFA presidential candidates planned on 29 Jan in London," Jerome Champagne said on his Twitter page "Myself and Mr. Ali Al-Hussein had accepted while the 3 others refused! No additional comment needed!"
ATR reported two weeks ago that the ESPN proposal had been scuppered because Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa was committed to attending AFC duties in Qatar, while UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino and Tokyo Sexwale had not committed to attend.
Sexwale, the South African businessman and an ally of the outgoing FIFA president, on Tuesday defended Blatter in an interview with Sky Sports.
"I feel very sorry for him. He is a friend. They have to face their mistakes, but let's not bury the good that they have done," he said.
"Blatter's work is a monument that stands for itself. It is a mountain that cannot be moved. It is up to the ethics committee what happens. The damage done is for posterity but it is not like they've murdered or committed genocide," he added.
Written by Mark Bisson
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