FIFA reduces Blatter, Platini bans to 6 years
High-powered soccer duo can appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport
Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have had their bans from football reduced from eight to six years by the FIFA appeal committee.
They were banned in December after FIFA president Blatter authorized a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2 million US) to UEFA president Platini in 2011.
FIFA says "the Appeal Committee considered that Mr. Platini's and Mr. Blatter's activities and the services they had rendered to FIFA, UEFA and football in general over the years should deserve appropriate recognition as a mitigating factor."
Blatter and Platini can still go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal the bans.
Blatter's successor is being elected on Friday. The appeal committee is headed by Larry Mussenden of Bermuda, who is currently seeking the CONCACAF presidency.
"The decision is insulting, shameful and is a violation of rights," Platini said in a statement. "The charges against me are baseless, built from the ground up and surreal in view of the facts and the explanations I gave during the hearing. "I will go to the end of my fight to show that I'm innocent, to restore my rights and identify who is responsible for this plot."
There was no immediate response from Blatter.