FIFA president Sepp Blatter and vice-president Michel Platini have had their appeals against 90-day bans rejected by world football governing body’s appeal committee. They were suspended in October while FIFA’s ethics committee investigates corruption claims against them. Blatter, 79, is accused of signing a contract “unfavourable” to FIFA and making a “disloyal payment” to Platini. Both deny wrongdoing and could appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was also suspended in October but there was no mention of him in Wednesday’s FIFA statement. The adjudicatory panel of FIFA’s ethics committee is due to hold hearings into the misconduct charges before Christmas.
UEFA chief Platini – who wants to succeed Blatter as FIFA president – has said the 2m euros payment was “valid compensation” from his time working under the Swiss more than nine years earlier. They insist there was an oral agreement for the payment in 1998, although it was not made until 2011. Blatter and former France captain Platini were suspended after the Swiss attorney general opened criminal proceedings against Blatter, who has been FIFA president since 1998. The ethics committee also opened an inquiry into Platini over the payment. Platini’s ban means his bid to succeed Blatter has had to be put on hold. He is one of seven candidates for the presidential election on 26 February but no integrity check will be carried out until his case is resolved. Blatter was discharged from hospital last week after what was described as a “small emotional breakdown”. Earlier this year, United States authorities indicted 14 FIFA officials and associates on bribery and racketeering charges. A simultaneous Swiss investigation was started into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.