FIFA President Sepp Blatter and European soccer boss Michel Platini have been banned from soccer for eight years. Paul Chapman reports.
Soccer's world ruling body announced on Monday it was banning its suspended President and European football boss for eight years from any activities related to the sport. Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have also been fined some $50,000 and $80,000 dollars respectively after an inquiry into a $2 million dollar payment from FIFA to Platini in 2011. Blatter told a news conference shortly after the announcement he was being used as a punch bag. (SOUNDBITE)(English) SEPP BLATTER SAYING: "I'm sorry that I am, as president of FIFA, this punching ball, and I'm sorry for football. I'm sorry for the Federation International de Football association I'm serving now more than 40 years. I'm sorry for that. I'm sorry for the 400-plus FIFA team members, they are working in FIFA. I'm sorry about that, I'm sorry. But I'm also sorry about me, how I am tainted in this world of humanity or humanitarian qualities." Platini, seen here in file footage, had been favourite to succeed Blatter. The FIFA ethics committee began an inquiry into the 2011 payment to Platini after the Swiss attorney general's decision to do so. The award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals to Russia and Qatar are also under investigation. The bans against both men come as a corruption scandal surrounds FIFA for which 27 current or former soccer officials have been indicted in the U.S. Twelve people and two sports marketing companies have been convicted over alleged bribery schemes.