Fifa’s Ethics Committee in October banned both Blatter and Platini for an initial 90 days, while investigations into the alleged “disloyal payment” continued. Blatter and Platini were banned after the Swiss Attorney General initiated criminal proceedings against Blatter over the payment to Platini for work carried out by the Frenchman between 1998 and 2002.
Both men have strenuously denied any wrongdoing and the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee on Saturday informed Blatter and Platini of the grounds for its decisions. A statement read: “The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has fulfilled its commitment to provide the grounds for the respective decisions to Mr Blatter and Mr Platini within the first half of January 2016 as they had previously been informed. After receiving the grounds for the decisions, both officials may lodge an appeal with the Fifa Appeal Committee.”
If their case at the Fifa Appeal Committee is rejected, the two men can appeal further to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). “We will appeal it, of course,” Blatter's US-based attorney Richard Cullen confirmed to the AFP news agency.
Blatter and Platini were banned for eight years on December 21 over a £1.3million payment to the Frenchman in February 2011, signed off by Blatter. They say the payment was made on the basis of an oral agreement between them 13 years previously when Platini worked as Blatter's technical adviser.
The timing of the payment raised suspicions however - it came as Blatter was preparing to stand for a fourth term as FIFA president and facing a challenge from Qatar's Mohamed Bin Hammam.