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FIFA wants life ban for Michel Platini over suspect payment

UEFA president Michel Platini
Image: UEFA president Michel Platini - FIFA pushing for life ban

FIFA's ethics committee wants to ban Michel Platini from football for life over a suspect payment, the UEFA chief's lawyer has revealed.

Platini is serving a 90-day suspension on corruption charges over a £1.35m payment he received from FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is also suspended.  

Platini's lawyer Thibaud d'Ales described FIFA's life ban demand as a "scandal" and "excessive".

D'Ales said that the maximum sanction was asked for when the FIFA ethics committee investigations unit submitted its final case report.

"The overreaching of the request really convinces us of this commission's total lack of credibility," D'Ales said. "There is not a single tangible element in this case that can confirm the suspicions."

Blatter's representatives refused to comment on whether the same request has been made against the Swiss official.

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter (L) shakes hands with UEFA president Michel Platini during the 65th FIFA Congress at Zurich
Image: FIFA President Sepp Blatter (left) shakes hands with Platini during the 65th FIFA Congress at Zurich

FIFA's investigatory chamber announced on Monday that it has opened a case and a decision is expected next month. Until then Platini is forbidden to take part in the race to become Blatter's successor as president of FIFA.

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He is one of five official candidates to run football's scandal-hit ruling body with the election scheduled for February 26.

Blatter and Platini lost appeals against their provisional FIFA suspensions on 18 November. The governing body's Appeal Committee upheld last month's decisions to ban them both.

Platini denies wrongdoing and says he had a verbal contract with Blatter to receive the money.

UEFA president Michel Platini attends the draw for the UEFA Europa League football group stage 2015/16, on August 28, 2015 in Monaco
Image: Life ban attempt is a 'scandal' Platini's lawyer says

D'Ales said FIFA's aim is to prove that there was no contract between Platini and Blatter.

"Obviously we've got the proof that such a deal existed," D'Ales said. "We will submit it to CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport], which will handle the case within a fairly short space of time."

A spokesman for the FIFA ethics prosecutors declined to confirm what sanction was requested last week.

"We are entitled to comment but we decided for reasons of personality rights and the presumption of innocence not to publish the request," the spokesman said.

"If Mr Platini wants to comment on the request he is entitled to do that."

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