Blatter banned by FIFA a 2nd time for financial wrongdoing

March 24

GENEVA (AP) — Sepp Blatter was banned for a second time by FIFA on Wednesday for financial wrongdoing, seven months before the 85-year-old former president's first ban expires.

Blatter has recently been in poor health and was

both Blatter and former secretary general Jérôme Valcke for six years and eight months for self-dealing in awarding themselves contractual bonuses worth millions of dollars, mostly linked to staging World Cups.

The charges against both men under the FIFA code of ethics included conflicts of interest, receiving gifts and breach of their duty of loyalty. Valcke was also charged with abuse of office.

Wednesday’s verdicts added to a slew of ongoing legal activity connecting the past and present leaderships of soccer’s governing body.

Both Blatter and Valcke, who also face criminal proceedings in Switzerland and deny wrongdoing, will start serving the new bans when their current ones expire.

Blatter and Valcke were previously banned for six years and 10 years, respectively, in separate cases. Blatter's first ban expires in October and Valcke's initial ban will be served in October 2025.

Both appealed against their first bans at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and can also go to the Lausanne court to challenge the latest sanctions.

In the new case, both men were each fined 1 million Swiss francs ($1.07 million) and ordered to pay within 30 days. It is unclear what power FIFA has to enforce payment.

FIFA's allegations of self-dealing in bonus payments led to former finance director

Lawyers acting for FIFA

The investigations against Blatter, Valcke and Kattner were opened in September 2016 when the ethics committee was run by officials appointed in 2012 and later

Blatter’s lawyers argued last November the case should not proceed with officials appointed during Infantino's presidency.

They said “all members of the FIFA Ethics Committee are institutionally biased and lack independence in relation to the FIFA Council and FIFA President.”

Decisions were taken by three ethics judges more than three months ago on Dec. 17, according to the

Blatter, Valcke and Kattner are currently

FIFA filed a separate

Blatter and Michel Platini, Infantino's former boss at European soccer body UEFA, have been

Both deny wrongdoing regarding $2 million in payments Blatter authorized to Platini in 2011 for work as an advisor a decade earlier. That allegation led to both being banned by the FIFA ethics committee in 2015.

FIFA has filed a civil action in Switzerland to try to recover the money from Platini.

Valcke was

Swiss prosecutors have appealed against the verdicts of the federal criminal court, which also saw Qatari soccer and broadcasting executive Nasser al-Khelaifi acquitted of inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.

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