The football equivalent of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader: former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini, will remain far away from the football governing body – albeit on a slightly shorter term away.
The FIFA Appeals Committee upheld the bans on Blatter and Platini, which were imposed after the pair were found guilty of corruption charges. However, the sentences were reduced from eight years apiece to six years apiece.
Oddly enough, the decision to reduce the bans on Blatter and Platini apparently stemmed from their contributions to football – as declared in a statement from FIFA during the official announcement:
‘The appeal committee determined that some strong mitigating factors for Mr Platini and Mr Blatter were not taken into account when establishing the sanction,’ the statement read.
‘In this sense, amongst others, the appeal committee considered that Mr Platini’s and Mr Blatter’s activities and the services they had rendered to Fifa, Uefa and football in general over the years should deserve appropriate recognition as a mitigating factor.’
Initially recommended to receive a lifetime ban for their illicit activities, which included allegations of bribes relating to FIFA World Cup bids and “loyalty payments” totaling millions between Blatter and Platini – the pair were instead stripped of their FIFA executive ranks and handed temporary bans.
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