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FIFA ethics committee calls for sanctions on Blatter, Platini

The ethics committee of soccer world governing body FIFA has concluded its corruption probe into top officials Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, urging sanctions against them. An ethics judge is to take a final decision.

In a statement released on Saturday, the ethics committee said it had sent its final conclusions with the recommendation for sanctions to FIFA's ethics judge, Hans-Joachim Eckert, who will decide on issuing a binding decision.

"The investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has submitted its final reports containing requests for sanctions against Joseph Blatter and Michel Platini," the statement said.

It expressly gave no details of the investigation's findings or of the envisaged sanctions, citing "privacy rights and the presumption of innocence."

Both Blatter and Platini (left and right in above photo) have been suspended for 90 days from their respective positions as heads of FIFA and UEFA pending the final verdict.

FIFA's adjudicatory chamber, headed by Eckert, said in a separate statement that it would decide whether to open formal proceedings and level possible sanctions "in due course."

Candidacy in jeopardy

The two men are being investigated over the 2011 payment of two million Swiss francs (1.84 million euros, $1.97 million) made by Blatter to Platini, who has been hoping to succeed Blatter as FIFA president.

Platini's suspension has meant that he has so far not been able to register as a candidate for the February presidential election. FIFA's electoral committee has said it might reconsider his position if he wins an appeal lodged with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Swiss prosecutors have also opened a criminal investigation into the corruption allegations.

tj/sms (Reuters, AFP)

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