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Blatter, Platini Faces Long Bans From Soccer

FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini are expected to receive long bans from soccer over corruption, conflict of interest and non-cooperation charges.

A payment of £1.3 million in 2011 from FIFA to Platini is the reason of the investigation. The payment was signed by Blatter. The pair will go up in front of FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert on Thursday and Friday. The Guardian reports that the pair will most likely receive a ban of at least seven years but that they will avoid a lifetime ban.  

Blatter and Platini are facing charges of corruption, conflict of interest and non-cooperation. Sources have told the Guardian that it might be difficult to prove the corruption charge, which carries a lifetime ban, but that there is significant evidence for the conflict of interest charge.

Platini and Blatter are denying any wrongdoing and have said that the payment was for Platini’s work with FIFA as a technical advisor to Blatter between 1998-2002. The payment was never part of Platini’s written contract, but the pair says they had an oral agreement. The timing of the payment has raised suspicion as it came nine years after Platini stopped working for FIFA and it came when Blatter was running for another term as FIFA president.

Platini and UEFA executive committee came out and backed Blatter for a fourth term as president several weeks after the payment. Blatter will have his disciplinary hearing on Thursday, with Platini going up the following day. A decision is expected to be rendered the following Monday.

Chung Mong-Joon, South Korea’s former FIFA vice-president was banned for six years in October for conflict of interest and non-cooperation.

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