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GENEVA, December 21. /TASS/. The suspended FIFA and UEFA presidents, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini respectively, have been both banned for eight years by FIFA's Ethics Committee, the press service of the world’s football governing body said in a statement on Monday.
"The adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee chaired by Mr Hans Joachim Eckert has banned Mr Joseph S. Blatter, President of FIFA, for eight years and Mr Michel Platini, Vice-President and member of the Executive Committee of FIFA and President of UEFA, for eight years from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) on a national and international level," the statement said.
"The bans come into force immediately," according to the document.
The Ethics Committee also subjected both of the football executives to financial fines, obliging Blatter to pay 50,000 Swiss francs (over $50,300) and Platini — 80,000 Swiss francs (over $80,500).
In early October, Blatter and Platini were suspended from their posts as part of the investigation into corruption allegations against them. Among a number of corruption allegations, Blatter is suspected of a disloyal payment of 2 million Swiss francs to UEFA President Platini in February 2011.
According to Monday’s statement, "The proceedings against Mr Blatter primarily related to a payment of CHF 2,000,000 transferred in February 2011 from FIFA to Mr Platini. Mr Blatter, in his position as President of FIFA, authorised the payment to Mr Platini which had no legal basis in the written agreement signed between both officials on 25 August 1999."
"Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Mr Blatter able to demonstrate another legal basis for this payment," the statement said. "His assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber."
In his letter addressed to members of FIFA on Monday, Blatter wrote commenting on the payment at the issue: "I can assure you that: it was legal because it was based on a verbal agreement."
"And agreements must be adhered to," Blatter announced last week. "This payment was put through the full administrative process, the correctness of which was confirmed by all competent FIFA bodies - including the Congress."
Sepp Blatter, 79, was reelected for his fifth consecutive four-year presidential term on May 29, when his only rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan pulled out after the first round of vote.
However, addressing a news conference in Zurich on June 2, Blatter said he decided to lay down his mandate at FIFA extraordinary elective Congress. FIFA announced in July that the election of the new president would be held next year on February 26.
An unprecedented corruption scandal flared up in FIFA in the morning of May 27, one day before the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, as seven of the organization’s high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges. The scandal involves two separate criminal proceedings.