FIFA panel tells Blatter, Platini why they were banned

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FIFA’s ethics panel said on Saturday it had formally given outgoing President Sepp Blatter and European soccer head Michel Platini the reasons for their eight-year bans from the game, information both men could use in an appeal.

The move came too late for Platini who said this week he had abandoned plans to appeal against the ban in time to rejoin the race for the FIFA presidency and withdrew his candidacy.

Blatter and Platini were banned last month amid the worst corruption scandal in the history of world soccer’s governing body.

“After receiving the grounds for the decisions, both officials may lodge an appeal with the FIFA Appeal Committee,” the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee said in a statement, without giving details on the information it sent.

The sport faces criminal investigations in Switzerland and the United States, where 41 soccer officials and sports entities have been indicted on corruption charges.

Blatter and Platini were both banned over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs (1.4 million pounds) made to the Frenchman by FIFA with Blatter’s approval in 2011 for work done a decade earlier.

The committee said the payment, made at a time when Blatter was seeking re-election, lacked transparency and presented conflicts of interest, though both men denied wrongdoing.

Platini, the head of European soccer body UEFA, had initially been seen as the favourite to replace Blatter in the Feb. 26 election.

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