Blatter, Platini face six-year ban

platiniSepp Blatter and Michel Platini will have formal hearings later this month into allegations that they breached FIFA’s ethics code.

Hans-Joachim Eckert, the German judge who heads the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee, has opened proceedings against the pair after studying reports from investigators.

Outgoing FIFA president Blatter and UEFA president Platini are facing lengthy bans if found guilty of several breaches of FIFA’s ethics code over a £1.3million payment made by FIFA to Platini in 2011. A decision is expected before Christmas.

A statement from FIFA’s ethics committee said: “The adjudicatory chamber has studied the reports carefully and decided to institute formal proceedings against the two officials.

For reasons linked to privacy rights and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the adjudicatory chamber will not publish details of the sanctions requested by the investigatory chamber in its final reports.

“In the course of the proceedings, both parties will be invited to submit positions including any evidence with regard to the final reports of the investigatory chamber and they may request a hearing.

“The adjudicatory chamber intends to come to a decision in both cases during the month of December.”

It is understood investigators have called for bans of at least six years for Blatter and Platini – who are both provisionally suspended – based on four potential ethics code breaches: mismanagement, conflict of interest, false accounting and non co-operation with or criticising the ethics committee.

Korea’s former FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-Joon was banned for six years last month and the allegations are at least as serious as those he was sanctioned for.

Meanwhile, Blatter has revealed he was “close to death” after collapsing earlier this month.

The 79-year-old, currently suspended from his post as FIFA president, fainted while visiting his parents’ grave with family members.

Blatter spent time in hospital and has since been released, but said the health scare was very serious.

He told Swiss TV channel RTS: ‘The pressure on me was enormous. It came to the point where my body said: “Stop! Enough is enough.

“I was close to death. I sat between angels singing and the fire of the devil.” — Mailonline

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