ZURICH (AP) — Already banished from soccer for eight years, former FIFA leaders Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini are again facing the threat of life bans.
FIFA ethics prosecutors said Tuesday they will appeal to increase the bans, arguing they are too lenient.
"The investigatory chamber intends to appeal against the decision against Mr. Blatter and Mr. Platini at the appeal committee of FIFA," the prosecution unit said in a statement.
The counter-challenge revives the prospect of life bans, which both men revealed had been recommended by investigators before their ethics hearings last month.
Blatter and Platini have said they will also appeal the eight-year sanctions handed down by four ethics judges who rejected charges of bribery and corruption. Instead, Blatter and Platini were banned for a range of lesser violations of the FIFA ethics code, including accepting or receiving gifts and conflicts of interest.
They deny wrongdoing over Blatter approving a $2 million payment from FIFA to Platini in 2011 as backdated salary without a contract.
Platini worked as a presidential adviser to Blatter from 1999-2002 but did not claim the money owed to him for more than eight years, when FIFA was no longer obliged by Swiss law to pay him.
The case has ended Platini's bid to succeed his former mentor as FIFA president in an election on Feb. 26.
Faces of the FIFA Scandal
FIFA general secretary
UEFA president; FIFA Vice President; FIFA presidential hopeful
Ex–CONCACAF president; FIFA Vice President
Ex–Cayman Islands federation and CONCACAF president; FIFA Vice President
Ex-CONCACAF general secretary; FIFA executive committee
CONCACAF President; FIFA vice president, executive committee; Former president, Honduras football federation
Juan Angel Napout
CONMEBOL president, FIFA vice president, executive committee; Former president, Paraguay football federation
Jose Luis Meiszner
CONMEBOL general secretary
Marco Polo del Nero
Former FIFA executive committee; President, Brazil football federation
Former FIFA executive committee; Former president, Brazil football federation
Ex–Costa Rica federation president; FIFA, CONCACAF executive committees
Ex–Uruguay federation and CONMEBOL president; FIFA Vice President
Jose Maria Marin
Ex–Brazil federation president; CONMEBOL executive committee
Former FIFA executive committee; Former president, Guatemalan football federation
FIFA development committee; Former president, Peru football federation
Former president, Panama football federation; FIFA disciplinary committee
Former CONMEBOL, Argentina football federation general secretary
CONMEBOL executive committee; President, Ecuador football federation
FIFA television and marketing committee; Former president, Honduras; Former president, Honduras football federation
Ex–Venezuela federation president; CONMEBOL executive committee
CONMEBOL treasurer; Former president, Bolivia football federation
Ex–CONMEBOL president, FIFA executive committee
Ex–Nicaragua federation and Central American Football Union president
FIFA audit and compliance committee; Former CONMEBOL treasurer.
CEO of Torneos y Competencias
President, Traffic Sports USA
President, Full Play Group
Vice President, Full Play Group
U.S. Attorney General
Switzerland Attorney General
Blatter wants to clear his name and host the election meeting in Zurich as a farewell to FIFA after more than 40 years.
The FIFA appeals committee rarely cuts or annuls sanctions imposed by the governing body's ethics or disciplinary panels.
Blatter and Platini have said they expect their cases will fail at FIFA before they pursue further appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
FIFA's appeals committee has previously imposed a life ban after judge Joachim Eckert decided on an 8-year sanction. In 2013, then-FIFA executive committee member Vernon Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka was expelled for bribery after then-prosecutor Michael Garcia appealed.
Manilal Fernando was judged to have bribed Asian officials to vote for Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar in a 2009 election for a FIFA executive committee seat. The loser in that bitterly fought contest, Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al Khalifa of Bahrain, is now a candidate for the FIFA presidency.
CAS later upheld Manilal Fernando's life ban.