Blatter 'reckless' to pay Platini US$2m, new court ruling says
Sepp Blatter was 'reckless' when he paid US$2,000,000 to Michel Platini in a transaction that led both to be banned from world football, according to a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling.
The former FIFA president also bypassed the body's executive committee to extend Platini's pension plan by four years unlawfully adding more than US$1,000,000 to the former UEFA president's retirement fund.
Details of the hearing in August were revealed in a newly published 68-page verdict written by CAS judges to explain why they dismissed Blatter's appeal to overturn a six-year ban in December.
As an executive committee member since 2002, Platini was due a pension of three per cent of his final FIFA stipend US$300,000 in 2015 when he was first banned for each year of service. It would be paid annually for an equal number of years. By unilaterally supporting Platini's request to start the plan in 1998, Blatter unlawfully created a pension fund for his former protegÈ of US$2.6 million in 2015 instead of US$1.52 million, the judges noted.
"The credit awarded to Mr Platini therefore certainly amounted to a gift as he was not entitled to such credit," the three judges said, concluding that a six-year ban for the now 81-year-old Blatter is "not disproportionate and, indeed, reasonable and fair".
"The standard of ethical conduct required under the (FIFA code of ethics) should be and should be seen to be applied to the FIFA President as rigorously as, if not more rigorously than, that applied to anyone else," the CAS panel wrote.