FIFA denies reports on Platini’s graft charge relief

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Zurich, April 27 (IANS) World football’s governing body FIFA has rejected reports that suspended vice president Michel Platini has been cleared of all corruption charges, its ethics committee’s spokesman Marc Tenbuecken said .

“The report is absolutely wrong,” Tenbuecken said on Tuesday. “The judgment of the Adjudicatory Chamber in the case of Mr. Platini is unchanged.”

Italian news agency ANSA reported earlier in the day that the ethics committee ruled to lift all corruption charges against Platini.

In early October, Platini and then-president of FIFA Sepp Blatter were both suspended for the period of 90 days from their posts as part of the investigation into corruption allegations against them.

Among a number of corruption allegations, Blatter is suspected of a disloyal payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($20,55,318)) to Platini in February 2011.

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The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee held hearings into corruption charges on December 17 and 18, in regard to Blatter and Platini, respectively, and on December 21 they were both suspended for a period of eight years from all football-related activities.

The committee also subjected both of the football executives to financial fines, obliging Blatter to pay 50,000 Swiss francs (over $50,300) and Platini 80,000 Swiss francs (over $80,500).

On March 2, FIFA’s appeal committee ruled to reduce the suspension sentences for Platini and Blatter from eight to six years.

Following the appeal committee’s ruling both Platini and Blatter submitted appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne.

CAS has scheduled the hearing into Platini’s appeal for April 29 and Blatter is rumoured by media reports to be present at the hearing as a witness.

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