FIFA ethics report calls for sanctions against Blatter, Platini

Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:54am EST
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By Brian Homewood

BERNE (Reuters) - FIFA ethics investigators called on Saturday for sanctions against president Sepp Blatter and European soccer boss Michel Platini, dealing a fresh blow to Platini's bid to succeed Blatter as head of world soccer's governing body.

Both men were suspended from their posts for 90 days on Oct. 8 pending a full investigation, engulfed by a deepening corruption scandal as the sport faces criminal probes in Switzerland and the United States.

The investigatory chamber of FIFA's ethics committee - acting independently of the organization's leadership - said on Saturday it had completed its inquiry, but did not say why it was recommending sanctions nor what those sanctions should be.

Its report will now be passed to the committee's adjudicatory chamber, which will decide whether investigations should be pursued and on any potential sanctions.

"The investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has submitted its final reports containing requests for sanctions against Joseph (Sepp) Blatter and Michel Platini to the adjudicatory chamber chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert," the ethics panel said the statement.

"For reasons linked to privacy rights and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the chamber will not publish details of the concluded reports and the requested sanctions against the two officials."

Blatter has been FIFA president since 1998. Platini has been head of European soccer's governing body UEFA since 2007 and, until he was suspended, had been favorite to replace Blatter in FIFA's Feb. 26 presidential election.

Platini's hopes of standing were put on hold because of his suspension. He has appealed to the Court of Arbitration of Sport against his provisional ban but, even if he wins and is allowed to stand, his plans would be scuppered if Eckert's adjudicatory chamber accepts the investigation's recommendations.   Continued...

Combination file photograph of FIFA President Sepp Blatter addressing a news conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland June 2, 2015 and UEFA President Michel Platini (R) attending the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland, May 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich