Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini vow to fight eight-year FIFA bans

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Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini will press ahead with appeals against eight-year bans after the two most powerful men in world football were banned sanctioned by FIFA's ethics committee for abusing their positions.

Blatter claimed he had been "killed'' and "betrayed'' by the ethics committee he had appointed, while Platini insisted the bans were " a mockery'' - but it looks to be the end of the road for both men's FIFA careers.

The bans were imposed by FIFA's ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert for a "disloyal payment'' of 2million Swiss francs (?1.3million) made to UEFA president Platini in 2011, signed off by outgoing FIFA president Blatter.

The charges found proven included offering and accepting gifts, conflict of interest, and violating their fiduciary duty to FIFA.

Blatter, appearing wearing a plaster on his face following the removal of a facial blemish, vowed to fight the sanctions. He will be allowed to stay in the luxurious apartment provided by FIFA until the appeals process is exhausted, and his final words to the press conference were: " I'll be back.''

He told a packed press conference: "I will fight for me and I will fight for FIFA. Suspended for eight years for what?

"I am sorry that I am a punching ball. I am sorry that as president of FIFA I am this punching ball. I am sorry for football. I am sorry for the 400-plus FIFA team members. I'm sorry about that. I am also sorry about me and about how I am treated in this world of humanitarian qualities.

"Human beings needs to be respected. It has created a lot of collateral damage in the families. My family was mocked. I regret I am this punching bag.''

Blatter - FIFA president since 1998 and general secretary for two decades before that - said he had almost died after collapsing in early November, adding: " They tried to kill me now. But I was safe till the last minute. I was nearly there.''

He and Platini both claimed the ?1.3million payment was made following a verbal agreement between the pair when the Frenchman worked for Blatter from 1998 to 2002 though not paid until 2011, 13 years after the agreement.

The explanation was rejected as "not convincing'' by the ethics committee, though it did add the evidence had not been sufficient to secure charges of corruption.

Platini's aim of succeeding Blatter as FIFA president in February's election looks to have been ended, even if he manages to overturn the ban.

There is also the threat of action from the law authorities in the United States and Switzerland. The Swiss attorney general announced in October he had opened criminal proceedings against Blatter in connection to the 2million Swiss franc payment. The attorney general also stated he had interviewed Platini as someone " between a witness and an accused person''.

Platini said he too would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and take legal action for damages.

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