Posted December 12, 2015 10:25:02

Michel Platini will “be suspended for numerous years”, the spokesman of FIFA’s Ethics Committee Andreas Bantel told French sports daily L’Equipe on Saturday (AEDT) in comments blasted by the Frenchman’s lawyers as politically motivated.

UEFA chief Platini and outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter are both at the moment serving 90-day bans whilst an investigation is held into a two million Swiss franc ($ two.83 million) payment from the globe governing physique to the French official.

“Platini will surely be suspended for a number of years,” mentioned Bantel in beautiful comments carried by the L’Equipe site.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) earlier backed the ban against Platini, in a new blow to his hopes of getting into the FIFA presidential race.

Blatter is standing down as FIFA boss with an election due to take place to choose his successor on February 26.

“As for Blatter, there is no difference for him amongst a suspension of a couple of years and a life ban,” added Bantel.

Platini’s lawyers have been furious with Bantel’s public comments, blasting the official for breaching the standard principle of getting innocent till proven guilty.

“We have discovered with anger and dismay the comments of Mr Andreas Bantel,” mentioned a statement from Platini and his lawyers.

“He….has breached the presumption of innocence and demonstrates the political objectives being pursued by FIFA’s Ethics Committee.”

Platini is due to face the ethics committee in Zurich on December 18 exactly where he is hoping again to have his ban lifted and consequently allow him to begin campaigning in his bid to succeed Blatter.

“The hearing set for December 18 will consequently manifestly be of no use,” added the lawyers’ statement.

Blatter, who has been in charge of FIFA considering that 1998 but who opted to step down right after a series of corruption allegations rocked the organisation, is due to also face the ethics committee the day prior to.

“Mr. Platini, for whom the punishment appears to have already been set by the FIFA Ethics Committee even prior to his explanations have been heard, strongly condemns such practices that shine light on the sham procedure to which he has been topic for weeks,” the statement concluded.

A selection on the pair’s suspensions is due ahead of December 21.

But Bantel insisted in his interview that “in this case, the query of corruption is well founded”.

“Suppose even the charge of corruption is not accepted by the chamber, there are a lot of others offences such as a conflict of interest, mismanagement or falsification of accounts,” said the official.

“All of this is enough to suspend Blatter and Platini for a number of years.”


Subjects: sport, soccer, corruption, france

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