FIFA has banned its President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini from participating in any soccer-related activities for eight years after finding they had breached ethics rules, the global soccer governing body said Monday. The ban on the executives, who had already been suspended, came after FIFA's ethics committee found that a payment by Blatter of two million Swiss francs ($2.01 million)) to Platini in 2011 had no legal basis and broke rules on offering and accepting gifts. "Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Mr Blatter able to demonstrate another legal basis for this payment. His assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber," the ethics committee said in the statement. Additionally, Blatter was fined 50,000 Swiss francs and Platini was fined 80,000 Swiss francs. In May, FIFA was thrown into a crisis when nine senior officials were indicted in the U.S. on money laundering and racketeering charges, among other things. Earlier in December, the U.S. Justice Department announced new charges against 16 FIFA officials in the widening probe of corruption at the soccer body.
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