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FIFA suspends its former president

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news.sky.com

FIFA has imposed a new six-year and eight-month suspension on its former president, Sepp Blatter. The football governing body said that it was enforced for numerous violations of its ethics code, “especially concerning bonus payments.” It will take effect as a new suspension expires in October, according to the governing body.

FIFA’s former secretary-general, Jerome Valcke, has been suspended for the same amount of time. According to FIFA, both men have been fined one million Swiss francs (£780,000).

According to FIFA’s ethics inspectors, Blatter was interested in the implementation of a bonus program from which he and other officials, including Valcke, benefited. They discovered Blatter acknowledged an “undue economic advantage” of 23 million Swiss francs (nearly £18 million) between 2010 and 2014.

Investigators went on to say that Blatter and Valcke, along with two other politicians, “set up a program from which they were able to receive exceptional rewards with a minimum of effort.”

“By (Blatter’s) behavior, FIFA’s dignity and objectivity have been severely breached,” FIFA said.

“FIFA’s image has undoubtedly suffered substantial and long-term harm.”

The ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber considered Blatter, 85, in violation of laws regulating obligation of allegiance, conflicts of interest, and giving or taking gifts or other benefits.

Valcke was found to have violated the same articles of the ethics code, as well as violation of position.

“The inquiries into Messrs Blatter and Valcke included numerous charges, particularly concerning bonus awards concerning FIFA competitions that were paid to top FIFA management officials, various modifications and extensions to job contracts, as well as repayment by FIFA of private legal expenses in the case of Mr. Valcke,” FIFA said in a statement.

Blatter, FIFA’s president from June 1998 to December 2015, was originally barred for eight years for ethics violations.

FIFA’s appeals committee cut the suspension to six years and was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Valcke’s initial sentence was 12 years, but it was reduced to 10 on appeal.

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