FIFA President Sepp Blatter and former UEFA president Michel Platini are likely to avoid a lifetime ban for corruption, but investigators may hand down lengthy suspensions of at least seven years, according to The Guardian.
Blatter and Platini will meet before a FIFA ethics committee judge for a hearing over a controversial payment made by FIFA to Platini in 2011. The Guardianreports that corruption allegations are tough to prove, which would eliminate the possibility of a lifetime ban. Blatter and Platini may be found guilty of a conflict of interest regarding the payment
Blatter will meet with the judge on Thursday. Platini's hearing will take place on Friday. A decision may be announced by next Monday.
Blatter and Platini have denied all corruption allegations. Platini says that he was due money for work in 1998 and had not been paid fully until 2011 because of FIFA's financial situation at the time.The timing of the payment also comes days before Platini endorsed Blatter for a fourth term as FIFA president.
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Blatter has served as FIFA president since 1998 and was re-elected for a fifth term earlier this year. But he announced his plans to resign from his post just four days after winning the election as FIFA became the target of a widespread corruption investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Blatter plans to remain FIFA president until the next elections are held on Feb. 26, 2016.
Former FIFA vice president Chung Mong-Joon was suspended by FIFA at the same time as Blatter and Platini. He was banned from the organization for six years and fined $103,206 for conflict of interest and non-cooperation.
- Christopher Chavez