Blatter hit with FIFA ban again

By Sports Desk March 24, 2021

Sepp Blatter has been handed a new ban from football of six years and eight months, FIFA has announced.

Disgraced former FIFA president Blatter was originally banned for eight years, reduced to six, in 2015 over breaches relating to a "disloyal payment" to ex-UEFA chief Michel Platini.

That suspension is up in October of this year, although the 85-year-old will now be barred from all football activities for a further eight years due to "various violations" of FIFA's code of ethics.

Jerome Valcke, the former FIFA general secretary who is banned from football until October 2025, has been given the same punishment on those grounds.

Both men have also been fined 1million Swiss francs (€900,000/$1.1m).

A statement issued by FIFA read: "The investigations into Messrs Blatter and Valcke covered various charges, in particular concerning bonus payments in relation to FIFA competitions that were paid to top FIFA management officials, various amendments and extensions of employment contracts, as well as reimbursement by FIFA of private legal costs in the case of Mr Valcke.

"As the previous bans from taking part in all football-related activity imposed on Messrs Blatter and Valcke by the independent ethics committee in 2015 and 2016 have not yet been purged, the bans notified today will only come into force upon the expiry of the previous bans."

In the written reasons covering the decision of the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, FIFA said Blatter's breaches included "accepting and receiving extraordinary bonuses" of 23m Swiss francs, "as a result of the conflict of interest created by the allocation and execution of extraordinary bonus payments between limited top-ranking FIFA officials" between 2010 and 2014.

The investigation highlighted a scheme through which Blatter, Valcke, the late former Argentinian Football Association (AFA) president Julio Grondona and ex-FIFA finance director Markus Kattner were "allowing themselves to obtain extraordinary benefits with minimum effort".

"This vicious circle saw three of them (Blatter, Grondona and Valcke) signing the amendment contracts of the others and approving the respective extraordinary bonuses, while the fourth (Kattner) was in charge of implementing the payment of such bonuses (as well as of keeping the matter "off the books", by not reflecting the bonuses in the FIFA financial statements and not reporting them to the FIFA auditors)," the verdict read.

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