Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have each been banned for eight years by the FIFA ethics committee in a stunning removal of world soccer’s most powerful leaders.
FIFA President Blatter and his one-time protege Platini were kicked out of the sport for conflict of interest and disloyalty to FIFA in a $2 million payment deal that is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.
In a news conference shortly after the verdict was announced, Blatter said he would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, insisting he had done nothing wrong.
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Despite the ban, both Blatter and Platini will be allowed to attend matches, including Euro 2016 in France, if they buy tickets in a private capacity.
FIFA boss since 1998, Blatter had already announced he was quitting with a presidential election in February.
Platini was tipped as a future leader of football’s world governing body and is a three-time European Footballer of the Year.
He is also a former captain of France and has been in charge of UEFA, European football’s governing body since 2007.