Fifa cuts Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini bans on eve of election to decide which of Sheikh Salman, Gianni Infantino, Prince Ali, Tokyo Sexwale or Jerome Champagne takes charge of scandal-hit body

 
Frank Dalleres
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Blatter and Platini were banned in December after being found guilty of breaking Fifa rules on conflicts of interest (Source: Getty)

Fifa president Sepp Blatter plans to take his fight to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after his appeal against an eight-year ban succeeded only in reducing it to six years.

The scandal-hit world governing body, whose top officials are scheduled to elect Blatter’s successor tomorrow, issued the same judgement on Michel Platini, the head of European confederation Uefa.

Wednesday’s verdicts threaten to end 79-year-old Blatter’s career in the game, while Platini, 60, will not be able to return until 2021. The elder man, however, intends to ask CAS to overturn his ban.

“I am very disappointed by the appeal committee of Fifa,” Blatter said. “I will take it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.”

Blatter and Platini’s initial bans were handed down just before Christmas after they were found guilty of breaking Fifa rules regarding conflict of interest and loyalty.

The charges followed an investigation into a 2011 payment from Blatter to Platini that they have said was for work the latter carried out nine years earlier.

Fifa’s appeals committee said it agreed to cut both men’s bans in recognition of their service to the game. It also rejected an appeal by Fifa’s investigatory chamber to have life bans imposed instead.

Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman is the favourite to become Fifa’s first new president for 19 years, although he faces competition from Italian-Swiss Gianni Infantino, who has worked with Platini at Uefa.

Jordan’s Prince Ali, South African Tokyo Sexwale and Jerome Champagne of France are the three other candidates.

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