ZURICH—Soccer’s international governing body issued eight-year bans on two of the most powerful men in the game: FIFA President Sepp Blatter and his former heir-apparent Michel Platini for alleged ethical violations.
Blatter responded angrily to the decision, saying he felt betrayed by the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, while Mr. Platini considered the decision to be a play on his integrity, denying the credibility of all accusations.
Both men denied any impropriety and said they would appeal. Mr. Platini, a suspended member of FIFA’s ruling executive committee, said he plans on taking his case to the FIFA Appeals Committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an independent panel with final say in sporting disputes.
The case against Mr. Blatter is related to a transfer of approximately $ 2,000,000 in February 2011 from FIFA to Mr. Platini. Mr. Blatter, in his position as President of FIFA, authorized the payment to Mr. Platini which had no legal basis. Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing did Mr. Blatter demonstrate legal basis for this payment. His assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber.
In a news conference after the verdict here, Mr. Blatter, a 41-year veteran of FIFA, struck a defiant tone.
“I will fight,” he said. “I will fight for me, and I will fight for FIFA. Suspended eight years for what?”