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FIFA suspend Blatter and Platini

Sepp Blatter's tenure as FIFA president has ended in humiliation after he was relieved of his duties, while Michel Platini's hopes of succeeding him appear to be in tatters after the pair were provisionally banned for 90 days by FIFA's ethics committee.
FIFA moved to relieve Blatter of his duties immediately after his provisional ban was announced - but by contrast Europe's ruling body said it was standing by Platini, though he is complying with the ban.
If that defiance escalates it would further destabilise the world governing body, which is already in meltdown following the suspensions announced against Platini, Blatter and FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke.
UEFA's executive committee said on Thursday night it had "full confidence" in Platini and would not be replacing him as president. A statement from Platini was also released through UEFA, an action which appears to be at odds with the terms of his ban.
Platini said: "I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.
"I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance."
UEFA said Platini "will not perform his official duties for the time being". He did not attend the meeting of the UEFA executive committee on Thursday and has cancelled several official trips.
A statement said: "UEFA is fully aware of its responsibilities under the relevant provisions of the statutes."
Platini claimed the fact that news of the impending ban was leaked on Wednesday was an attempt to damage his reputation. The ban should mean that he will not be able to attend the Euro 2016 draw in Paris on December 12 - a bitter blow to the 60-year-old in his own country.
On Thursday morning Platini submitted the letters of nomination for the presidency from supporting associations to FIFA, but unless he can overturn the ban on appeal his hopes look over.
FIFA said Blatter had been relieved of his duties and that Issa Hayatou, the head of African football from Cameroon, would be acting president.
Hayatou's appointment carries its own controversy. He was reprimanded by the International Olympic Committee in 2011 over a payment made to him by FIFA's former marketing agency ISL during the 1990s.
UEFA, however, said it backed Platini and "saw no need" for the highest-ranking vice-president to step in to assume his powers.
Its statement added: "This is because the UEFA executive committee is aware that the UEFA president will immediately take all necessary steps to appeal the decision of the FIFA ethics committee to clear his name.
"Finally, the UEFA executive committee expressed its full confidence in UEFA president, Michel Platini, and stands fully behind him."
The executive committee said it would hold an emergency meeting in Nyon in seven days' time, with all 54 member associations of UEFA meeting on the same day.
Platini had been the favourite to succeed 79-year-old Blatter, but the ban prevents all three men from being involved in any football-related activity for the next three months while investigations continue. The 90-day suspension can also be extended by a further 45 days, taking it up until just six days before the FIFA presidential election is due on February 26.
The ethics committee also announced that another FIFA presidential candidate, Chung Mong-joon from Korea, has been banned for six years and fined 100,000 Swiss francs for breaking rules during the 2022 World Cup bid campaign.
A statement from FIFA's ethics committee said: "During this time, the above individuals are banned from all football activities on a national and international level. The bans come into force immediately."
Blatter and Platini can appeal to FIFA's appeals committee, but will still be suspended until they are heard. Valcke had already been suspended by FIFA after allegations he was implicated in a World Cup tickets scheme.
The most important investigations surround a #1.35million payment Blatter authorised be made to Platini by FIFA in 2011. Neither have fully explained the reason for the nine-year delay in being paid for work Platini carried out as Blatter's technical advisor from 1999 to 2002.
Blatter has had criminal proceedings opened against him by the Swiss attorney general on this case and for allegedly selling TV rights to former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner for around 20 times less than their true value.
The man who would be acting president of UEFA, Spain's Angel Villar Llona, also has an ethics committee investigation hanging over him for refusing to co-operate properly with the inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.
Hayatou said he would only serve as interim president and would not stand in February's election.

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