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GENEVA, February 24. /TASS/. FIFA Appeal Committee ruled to reduce the suspension sentences for earlier banned FIFA and UEFA presidents, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini respectively, from eight to six years, a statement from FIFA announced on Wednesday.
"The FIFA Appeal Committee, chaired by Larry Mussenden (Bermuda), has partially confirmed the decisions taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee on 17 and 18 December 2015 regarding Joseph S. Blatter and Michel Platini respectively, whose bans have been reduced from eight to six years," the statement said.
Although the decisions were announced on Wednesday, the hearings into Platini and Blatter’s appeals were held in Zurich on February 15 and 16 correspondingly.
In early October, Blatter and Platini were suspended for the period of 90 days 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.
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent FIFA Ethics Committee held hearings into corruption charges on December 17 and 18, in regard to Blatter and Platini respectively, and on December 21 they were both suspended for the period of eight years from all football-related activities.
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).
A chain of corruption scandals rocked FIFA throughout last year. Everything flared up with an unprecedented scandal on the morning of May 27, 2015, one day before the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, where seven of the organization’s high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges.
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.
The five currently running candidates for the post of the FIFA presidency are: South Africa’s ex-Minister of Housing Construction Tokyo Sexwale, UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino, FIFA Vice President and Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, former-FIFA Secretary General Jerome Champagne and President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.