The adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee chaired by Mr Hans-Joachim Eckert has banned Mr Joseph S. Blatter, President of FIFA, for eight years and Mr Michel Platini, Vice-President and member of the Executive Committee of FIFA and President of UEFA, for eight years from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) on a national and international level. The bans come into force immediately.
The evidence available to the adjudicatory chamber in the present case was not sufficient to establish, to the extent required, that Mr Blatter sought the execution or omission of an official act from Mr Platini within the meaning of article 21 paragraph 1 of the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE) (Bribery and corruption). However, the conduct of Mr Blatter towards Mr Platini without a legal basis constituted a breach of article 20 paragraph 1 of the FCE (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits). Furthermore, Mr Blatter found himself in a situation of conflict of interest, despite which he continued to perform his related duties, failing to disclose said situation and the existence of personal interests linked to his prospective activities, thus violating article 19 paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of the FCE (Conflicts of interest). By failing to place FIFA’s interests first and abstain from doing anything which could be contrary to FIFA’s interests, Mr Blatter violated his fiduciary duty to FIFA and breached article 15 of the FCE (Loyalty). 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).
The investigation into the case of Mr Blatter was conducted by Mr Robert Torres, member of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee. The investigation resulted in a final report which was submitted to the adjudicatory chamber on 20 November 2015. The adjudicatory chamber opened formal proceedings on 23 November 2015, and the hearing of Mr Blatter took place in Zurich on 17 December 2015.
The proceedings against Mr Platini primarily related to a payment of CHF 2,000,000 that he received in February 2011 from FIFA. The payment to Mr Platini had no legal basis in the written agreement signed between both officials on 25 August 1999. Mr Platini’s assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber.
In consequence, Mr Platini has been banned for eight years from all football related activities and fined CHF 80,000.
The investigation into the case of Mr Platini was conducted by Ms Vanessa Allard, member of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee. The investigation resulted in a final report which was submitted to the adjudicatory chamber on 20 November 2015. The adjudicatory chamber opened formal proceedings on 23 November 2015, and the hearing took place in Zurich on 18 December 2015 in the presence of Mr Platini’s lawyers.