Earlier this week former Fifa president Sepp Blatter, and UEFA president Michel Platini were served an eight year ban each for an undocumented payment between the two officials.
Blatter and Platini were cleared of any corruption charges, but they couldn’t provide sufficient evidence to justify the payment of two million Swiss francs from FIFA to Platini in 2011.
Both deny any wrongdoing and say they had a verbal ‘gentleman’s agreement’ over the funds, but the ethics committee finds this to be a violation of FIFA bylaws concerning transparency.
Platini, who could still conceivably have a career in FIFA if granted his appeal had this to say,
“I’m fighting against this injustice, from one court to another.”
“But there you go, in the meantime, my name has been dragged through the mud in the press.”
“Whatever happens, my reputation has been sullied, I’ve been kicked in the teeth.”
Blatter at 79 is more than likely appealing to save some face on his tarnished legacy.
His legal counsel provided this statement after the sentencing of the eight year ban,
“While the decision announced yesterday confirmed that there was no corruption or bribery, president Blatter is eager to present his arguments to the Appeal Committee that the remaining charges must also fail because the evidence clearly demonstrates the relationship with Mr. Platini was in all respects appropriate.”
“President Blatter is prepared to take all legal steps to prevail on the remaining charges and clear his name.”
The truth is that these appeals will likely do little as the removal of Blatter and Platini has come to symbolize a changing of the old guard within the FIFA organization.
It is a pivotal time for the organization and the next steps will decide if FIFA can separate from its identity as a organization with a dystopian power structure and corruption rampant to start down a new path.