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Frenchman Platini lands eight-year football ban

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Frenchman Platini lands eight-year football ban
Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter share a joke together. Photo: AFP
09:47 CET+01:00
European football chief Michel Platini's fall from grace appeared complete on Monday after he was suspended from all football activities for eight years along with Fifa president Sepp Blatter. Platini immediately announced he would appeal.

Platini, the president of European football body Uefa, will not be able to take part in any football-related activity for eight years, after Fifa's ethics committee made its judgement on Monday.

A FIFA ethics tribunal banned Platini, a FIFA vice president and UEFA president, for eight years over a 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million, €1.8 million ) fee from football's world body that was authorised by FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Blatter was also dished out the same sentence.

The judgement has almost certainly ended Platini's chances of taking over from Blatter as president of Fifa and he now risks being cast out of the sport he loves.

Platini said on Monday he will go to sports and civil courts in a bid to overturn an eight year ban ordered by FIFA.

THe Frenchman said in a statement sent to AFP that the FIFA decision was a "masquerade" intended to "sully" his name.

"Parallel to going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, I am determined to apply, at the right time, to civil courts to obtain damages for all the prejudice I have suffered over very long weeks," Platini said.

"This decision does not surprise me," Platini said.

"I am convinced that my fate was sealed before the hearing of December 18 and that this verdict is just a pathetic coverup for a desire to eliminate me from the world of football.

"On the football field and in the exercise of my mandates, my behaviour has always been irreproachable and I am at ease with my conscience," the former star player said.

The former French international has always denied any wrongdoing in accepting a $2 million payment from Fifa in 2011 for consulting work he undertook years earlier.

He recently told AFP that he had nothing to hide and he was "football's medieval knight".

"I have known for a long time that I would be the target of many unfounded attacks and I am conscious that these attacks will continue until the Fifa elections take place. There is no doubt about my integrity," Platini said in an interview.

"I have done nothing wrong," he insisted. 

"In all modesty, I am the best-placed to lead world football," Platini, 60, told Swiss daily Le Matin in another recent interview.

I feel like I am a medieval knight facing a fortress. I am trying to storm it for football but instead all I get is boiling oil poured on my head."

The Frenchman, who is also Fifa's vice president, had hopes of succeeding Blatter in the top job and had formally submitted his application to become president on Thursday morning.

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