FIFA’s Ethics Committee has called for sanctions to be brought against current President Sepp Blatter and UEFA chief Michel Platini after its Investigatory Chamber concluded its probe into the two officials.

Both could face suspensions of several years based on four potential ethics code breaches - mismanagement, conflict of interest, false accounting and non-cooperation with or criticising the Ethics Committee.

German Hans-Joachim Eckert, judge of the Ethics Committee Adjudicatory Chamber, will now decide whether Blatter and Platini should face disciplinary hearings into their conduct.

A decision from Eckert could come as early as next week.

“The Investigatory Chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has submitted its final reports containing requests for sanctions against Joseph Blatter and Michel Platini to the Adjudicatory Chamber chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert,” a FIFA statement read.

“For reasons linked to privacy rights and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the Chamber will not publish details of the concluded reports and the requested sanctions against the two officials.”

The pair are currently suspended for 90 days for their part in alleged widespread corruption within world football’s governing body after an investigation was launched into a "disloyal" payment of CHF 2 million (£1.3 million/$2.1 million/€1.8 million) allegedly made to Platini by the Swiss.

This was supposedly for work the former France international carried out for the governing body between 1999 and 2002, but he was not paid until 2011 and the nine-year gap has raised suspicions.

Hans-Joachim Eckert could make a decision on whether Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini should face disciplinary hearings as early as next week ©Getty Images

Platini, who still hopes to succeed Blatter when he steps down as FIFA President in February, has vowed to fight his ban and made an “urgent appeal” to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Both men were told earlier this week that appeals to FIFA to have their suspensions overturned had been rejected.

Blatter, also accused of signing an unfavourable contract with the Caribbean Football Union, has the option to take things to the CAS as well, although it has not yet been confirmed that the 79-year-old will take further action.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber of the independent Ethics Committee chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert has today received the final reports concerning the investigations against Joseph S. Blatter and Michel Platini carried out by the investigatory chamber,” a spokesperson for Eckert said.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber will study the reports carefully and decide in due course about whether to institute formal adjudicatory proceedings against Joseph S. Blatter and Michel Platini.”

South Africa's Tokyo Sexwale, Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, France's Jérôme Champagne, Switzerland's Gianni Infantino and Bahrain's Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa are confirmed as those who are in the running to replace Blatter as FIFA President at an Extraordinary Elective Congress on February 26.

Platini could yet be allowed to stand if he is not under any sanctions in time for the election.


Continue Reading...