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FIFA ethics judge opens cases against Blatter, Platini

The Associated Press

FILE – In this May 29, 2015 file picture FIFA president Sepp Blatter, right, walks past Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, left, and UEFA President Michel Platini, center, during the 65th FIFA Congress held n Zurich, Switzerland. FIFA’s ethics committee has asked for sanctions against Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini after finishing investigations into their alleged financial wrongdoing. FIFA President Blatter and UEFA President Platini now face bans of several years at full hearings before FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert, likely in December. (Walter Bieri/Keystone via AP,file)

Associated Press

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ZURICH (AP) — Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini should have their day in FIFA ethics court in December.

FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert formally opened cases on Monday against the FIFA and UEFA presidents for alleged financial wrongdoing.

“The adjudicatory chamber intends to come to a decision in both cases during the month of December,” a spokesman for the German judge said in a statement.

Blatter and Platini “will be invited to submit positions including any evidence with regard to the final reports of the investigatory chamber,” the statement said.

Both can request hearings, which are expected to be scheduled in December.

Blatter and Platini, who are currently serving 90-day suspensions pending Eckert’s rulings, face bans of at least several years. Any sanctions passed can be appealed to FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The FIFA ethics investigations unit said Saturday it submitted case dossiers and asked for sanctions against both officials. Details were not given.

In recently judged FIFA ethics cases, former FIFA officials Chung Mong-joon and Harold Mayne-Nicholls were banned for six and seven years, respectively, despite their offences not including financial corruption.

The latest case centers on $2 million of FIFA money Blatter approved for Platini in 2011 as backdated salary.

Both deny wrongdoing and say they had a verbal contract to pay Platini for work as Blatter’s presidential adviser from 1998-2002.

Platini cannot campaign for the FIFA presidential election on Feb. 26 while suspended, and will almost certainly have his candidacy ended if found guilty of wrongdoing by Eckert.

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