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FIFA reject Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini appeals, but reduce bans

(London Post)    Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini lost in their appeals, but received a lifeline from FIFA on Wednesday. Both of their bans were reduced by two years, though both intend to appeal their suspensions further.

Two days before the vote for the next FIFA president, soccer’s world governing body rejected the appeals of both former President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini on their respective eight year bans. However, FIFA reduced their bans from eight years to six.

FIFA’s independent ethics committee banned Blatter and Platini from all football-related activities in December after a suspect payment from Blatter to Platini in 2011. Both appealed the ban in January, denying any wrongdoing in the transaction. The FIFA appeals committee mostly confirmed the findings of the ethics committee’s investigation, but the appeals committee reconsidered other factors that lead to the reduction of Blatter’s and Platini’s bans.

“While agreeing with the principles and arguments presented by the adjudicatory chamber in its calculation of the sanction, the Appeal Committee determined that some strong mitigating factors for Mr. Platini and Mr. Blatter were not taken into account when establishing the sanction,” said a statement from the FIFA Appeals Committee.

The statement added that “services they had rendered to FIFA, UEFA and football in general over the years” deserved more appropriate recognition as a “mitigating factor.”

“I am deeply disappointed by the FIFA Appeal Commission,” Blatter said on Wednesday.

The decision will bar both Blatter and Platini from attending the FIFA Congressional meeting and presidential election scheduled to take place on Friday. Both Blatter and Platini intend to appeal Wednesday’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

kd/dv (dpa/Reuters)

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