FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA chief Michel Platini have been banned from all football-related activities for eight years, with immediate effect. It’s the best news we’ve heard since Leicester City beat Chelsea last week, and will have football fans all over the globe nodding their approval, while thinking "Fucking finally."
The dirty duo have also been slapped with fines -- $40,000 (£34,000) for Blatter and $80,000 ($54,000) for Platini -- after an investigation uncovered ethics code violations. Back in 2011, £1.3 million was transferred from FIFA to Platini, with both the Frenchman and Blatter claiming the payment was made as part of a verbal agreement, for work carried out between 1998 and 2002 when Platini worked under Blatter.
However, German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, along with the rest of the sane world, isn’t convinced by the excuses. Here's the official line:
The proceedings against Mr Blatter primarily related to a payment of CHF 2,000,000 transferred in February 2011 from Fifa to Mr Platini. Mr Blatter, in his position as president of Fifa, authorised the payment to Mr Platini which had no legal basis in the written agreement signed between both officials on 25 August 1999. Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Mr Blatter able to demonstrate another legal basis for this payment. His assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber. Mr Platini's assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber.
It's a satisfying end to the long-running scandal, and should hopefully see football clean up its act. Now to get the next couple of World Cups out of the way... [BBC]
Image: Go Runner via Flickr