Two powerful figures in soccer were found guilty of ethics violations and banned from the sport for eight years on Monday.
An independent ethics committee of FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, ruled that Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini are prohibited from taking part in any soccer-related activities. Blatter has served as president of FIFA since 1998, and Platini has headed UEFA, soccer’s governing body in Europe, since 2007.
The soccer administrators were found guilty of breaches surrounding a $2 million payment of FIFA funds that Blatter made to Platini in 2011. The judges said that Blatter could not “demonstrate [a] legal basis” for the payment, and had failed “to place FIFA’s interests first and abstain from doing anything which could be contrary to FIFA’s interests,” according to the Associated Press. Platini, they said, “failed to act with complete credibility and integrity, showing unawareness of the importance of his duties and concomitant obligations and responsibilities.”
The committee fined Blatter 50,000 Swiss francs, or $50,250, and Platini 80,000 Swiss francs, or $80,400. The administrators had previously been banned by FIFA’s ethics committee in October for 90 days.