Soccer’s world governing body junked the respective appeals of Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini on Wednesday against the 90-day ban imposed on them in connection the corruption scandal that has rocked the sport.
Because of this, Blatter, the embattled FIFA president, and Platini, president of the European football confederation, will remain suspended from office.
It can be recalled that the two were meted bans in the wake of reports about a financial transaction between the two men for which Mr. Blatter is under criminal investigation.
Blatter, who has been at the helm since 1998, remains barred from setting foot at FIFA headquarters or do business related to the sports while the corruption investigations are still ongoing. Said probe is expected to wrap up before the 90 days is up which is in early January.
Platini, meanwhile, is also still off limits for the said duration – although the European confederation has previously expressed support to him.
The suspension also puts a major obstacle for Platini’s candidacy for the FIFA presidency come the election on February 26, 2016.
Both have the option of raising the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Blatter’s American lawyer, Richard Cullen, said that the beleaguered leader was “disappointed” by the ruling, and called the lost time in publishing the ruling “inexplicable.”
“President Blatter is committed to clearing his name and hopes this inexplicable delay is not an effort to deny him, during his elected term, a fair hearing before a neutral body,” read Cullen’s statement.
The rejection of Blatter and Platini’s appeals were already expected from the panel, which is known to rarely overturn any decisions made by FIFA judicial bodies.
The suspensions were handed out in October by FIFA’s ethics committee pending a full investigation into the alleged $2-million payment Blatter has approved for Platini in 2011 as retroactive salary. Platini rendered service as Blatter’s presidential adviser from 1998-2002.
Both have denied any wrongdoing, although they did acknowledge that there was no written contract for the extra salary.
Both the United States and Switzerland are doing continuous criminal inquiries into corruption allegations within the soccer world.