Paris - Michel Platini will "be
suspended for several years", the spokesperson of FIFA's Ethics Committee Andreas Bantel told
French sports daily L'Equipe on Friday in comments blasted by the Frenchman's
lawyers as politically motivated.
UEFA chief Platini and outgoing FIFA
president Sepp Blatter are both currently serving 90-day bans while an
investigation is held into a $2 million payment from the world governing body
to the French official.
"Platini will certainly be suspended
for several years," said Bantel in stunning comments carried by the
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
earlier on Friday backed the ban against Platini, in a new blow to his hopes of
entering the FIFA presidential race.
Blatter is standing down as FIFA boss with
an election due to take place to choose his successor on February 26.
"As for Blatter, there is no
difference for him between a suspension of a few years and a life ban,"
Platini's lawyers were furious with
Bantel's public comments, blasting the official for breaching the basic
principle of being innocent until proven guilty.
"We have learned with anger and dismay
the comments of Mr Andreas Bantel," said a statement from Platini and his
lawyers which was emailed.
"He....has breached the presumption of
innocence and demonstrates the political objectives being pursued by FIFA's
Platini is due to face the ethics committee
in Zurich on December 18 where he is hoping again to have his ban lifted and
consequently allow him to start campaigning in his bid to succeed Blatter.
"The hearing set for December 18 will
therefore manifestly be of no use," added the lawyers' statement.
Blatter, who has been in charge of FIFA
since 1998 but who opted to step down after a series of corruption allegations
rocked the organisation, is due to also face the ethics committee the day
"Mr. Platini, for whom the punishment
seems to have already been set by the FIFA Ethics Committee even before his
explanations have been heard, strongly condemns such practices that shine light
on the sham procedure to which he has been subject for weeks," concluded
A decision on the pair's suspensions is due
before December 21.
But Bantel insisted in his interview that
"in this case, the question of corruption is well founded".
"Suppose even the charge of corruption
is not accepted by the chamber, there are many others offences such as a
conflict of interest, mismanagement or falsification of accounts," said
"All of this is sufficient to suspend
Blatter and Platini for several years."