Blatter and Platini bans are undeserved - Russian sports minister

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have been treated harshly with eight-year suspensions, says FIFA Executive Committee member Vitaliy Mutko.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter is surrounded by media as he arrives for a news conference in Zurich, Switzerland, December 21, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko believes Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini do not deserve the eight-year bans imposed upon them by FIFA's Independent Ethics Committee.

Criminal proceedings were opened against the FIFA president in September, with an alleged "disloyal" payment to the UEFA chief for consultancy work, which Blatter authorised in 2011, forming the basis of the investigation.

The pair were handed provisional 90-day suspensions the following month but protested their innocence, claiming a verbal agreement was at the foundation of the transfer.

However, on Monday, an independent ethics committee announced eight-year bans from all football-related activities for Blatter and Platini, something which Mutko, a FIFA Executive Committee member, is sympathetic about.

"It is very difficult for me to estimate this decision. There is an investigation, case materials and an opinion, which we have not studied yet," he told TASS news agency.

"We set up the FIFA Ethics Committee on our own and it is independent. There is a decision-making procedure and there is a procedure to file an appeal.

"I can only express my regret over the current developments. Both of the executives did a lot for the development of the world football.

"Solid reasons are required to ban from football for eight years. I believe that neither of them deserved it.

"But I reiterate that it is difficult for me personally to give estimations, as we are not familiar with the core essence of the case."

Blatter and Platini have announced they will appeal the bans.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

Real Madrid ease past Real Sociedad after Barca and Atletico beaten

Real Madrid ease past Real Sociedad after Barca and Atletico beaten

Wijnaldum rescues PSG after Lens leave Messi in a daze

Wijnaldum rescues PSG after Lens leave Messi in a daze

Wijnaldum rescues PSG after Lens leave Messi in a daze

Wijnaldum rescues PSG after Lens leave Messi in a daze

AC Milan move top of Serie A, Inter see off Roma

AC Milan move top of Serie A, Inter see off Roma

Lebron James next sneaker edition to be unveiled this December

Lebron James next sneaker edition to be unveiled this December

Lewandowski nets double as Bayern down Dortmund to go four points clear

Lewandowski nets double as Bayern down Dortmund to go four points clear

Silva shines as Man City stroll to top spot in Premier League

Silva shines as Man City stroll to top spot in Premier League

Man City, Liverpool leapfrog Chelsea at top of Premier League

Man City, Liverpool leapfrog Chelsea at top of Premier League

Tosin Aiyegun stars for FC Zurich in blowout win over Luzern

Tosin Aiyegun stars for FC Zurich in blowout win over Luzern