The man himself has arrived at FIFA HQ.
He’s smily enough though, isn’t he?
But what’s that plaster all about? Conspiracy theories at the ready…
Sepp Blatter arrived with a smile for his press conference pic.twitter.com/W91s6N6yrf
— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) December 21, 2015
FIFA’s ethics committee is also investigating the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals to Russia and Qatar.
And in the United States, prosecutors have indicted 27 current or former FIFA officials, including eight former executive committee members, over allegations that they ran bribery schemes connected to the sale of television rights for soccer competitions. Twelve people and two sports marketing companies have been convicted.
It would appear that we’re well and truly in the end game now.
Sepp Blatter to speak at 10am. If he's banned from all football activity, what's he going to talk about? The weather?
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) December 21, 2015
A lengthy statement has been issued by the ethics committee:
“Mr Blatter’s actions did not show commitment to an ethical attitude, failing to respect all applicable laws and regulations as well as FIFA’s regulatory framework to the extent applicable to him and demonstrating an abusive execution of his position as president of FIFA, hence violating article 13 of the FCE (general rules of conduct),” it states.
“Mr Platini failed to act with complete credibility and integrity, showing unawareness of the importance of his duties and concomitant obligations and responsibilities.
“His actions did not show commitment to an ethical attitude, failing to respect all applicable laws and regulations as well as FIFA’s regulatory framework to the extent applicable to him and demonstrating an abusive execution of his position as vice-president of FIFA and member of the FIFA executive committee.”
Outgoing FIFA president Blatter and UEFA president Platini had claimed the payment had been made in 2011 following a verbal agreement between the pair when the Frenchman worked for Blatter from 1998 to 2002.
The explanation was rejected as “not convincing” by the ethics committee, who added that the evidence has not been sufficient to secure charges of corruption.
Blatter and Platini’s bans come into force immediately and in Blatter’s case at least mark the end of his career in football administration.
The 79-year-old Swiss has been head of FIFA since 1998 and was serving out his final months before stepping down ahead of February’s presidential election.
Platini had been tipped to succeed Platini in the top job and had been in charge of UEFA since 2007. It will be a long way back for the Frenchman if he still harbours those ambition.
FIFA have banned Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini from football for EIGHT YEARS.
The two had been under investigation by the body’s Ethics Committee amid the corruption scandal that has shaken up football governance in recent months.
And now, the adjudicatory arm of the committee has opted to suspend both men from all football-related activity.
The pair are in the dock over a “disloyal payment” made by Blatter to Platini in February 2011, supposedly for work done in 1999.
The Ethics Committee deemed that Platini’s explanation of that payment was “not convincing”. Platini has been fined 80,000 Swiss Francs, and Blatter 50,000.
We’ll have all the latest breaking news and reaction to events here.