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Fifa suspends Blatter, Platini and Valcke. Chung banned

Thu 8th Oct 2015 | FIFA

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, UEFA President Michele Platini and FIFA Secetary General Jerome Valacke have all been handed suspensions of ninety days by the FIFA Ethics committee.

A statement released on the FIFA website on Thursday morning set out the terms of the suspension for the trio, and confirmed that former FIFA Vice-President Chung Mong-joon has been banned for six years and fined.

"The adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee chaired by Hans Joachim Eckert has provisionally banned FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, UEFA President and FIFA Vice-President Michel Platini, and FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke (who has already been put on leave by his employer FIFA) for a duration of 90 days. 

The duration of the bans may be extended for an additional period not exceeding 45 days. The former FIFA Vice-President Chung Mong-joon has been banned for six years and fined CHF 100,000. During this time, the above individuals are banned from all football activities on a national and international level. The bans come into force immediately"

The news will come as a blow for former French international Platini after he announced he plans to stand for the FIFA presidency when Blatter steps down in November.

Platini's statement read "This morning I submitted the letters of support that are required in order to stand as a candidate for the presidency of Fifa. 

"As I have always done since 2007, I will fulfil my obligations after consulting Uefa’s 54 member associations, which I will ask to convene shortly in Nyon. 

"I will also meet with all the other confederations and Fifa’s member associations in the spirit of openness that has always characterised my actions."

However, this move will be cast in doubt by the decision of the FIFA ethics committee.

Matthew Irvine, Associate at Thomas Eggar LLP commented: “Employers often describe suspending an employee as a neutral act which simply allows them to investigate an employee’s potential misconduct. Suspension is usually only appropriate, however, when the alleged misconduct is serious and would potentially result in dismissal. Employees often feel there is a stigma attached to suspension because of the perception by others that there is ‘no smoke without fire’. This means that employers should be wary of knee-jerk reactions and consider any decision to suspend carefully.

“Clearly, the allegations of corruption against Blatter, Platini and Valcke are serious and their suspension would seem to be appropriate in the circumstances. In most cases for employees, 90 days would be a long time to remain suspended and an investigation should normally be completed as soon as possible, usually within a couple of weeks. In this situation, however, it would appear that the investigation will be wide ranging and time consuming.

“Whilst there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the cloud of suspicion clearly hangs over them and, in the meantime, Platini has to decide by 26 October 2015 whether to stand for the FIFA presidency.  One of the most gifted footballers of his generation, it would be a sad day if Platini were found to have tarnished the beautiful game in this way.  For now, perhaps we should go along with his story that he waited nine years to be paid for his consultation work – or in other words, ‘suspend our disbelief.’”

Image: REUTERS/Ruben Sprich supplied by Action Images

Posted by: Kev Howland

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