Zurich -The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) today decided to suspend Joseph Blatter, its president since 1998, and Michel Platini, president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since 2007, for eight years from all soccer-related activities.
According to a FIFA communique, Blatter, from Switzerland, and Platini, from France, were found guilty of conflicts of interests and ethics violations.
The Swiss and the French were also fined with about $50.304 US dollars, and $80.409 US dollars, respectively.
Shortly after the decision was announced, Blatter warned in a press conference that he will fight for proving his innocence.
Blatter said he would challenge the decision in FIFAâ�Ös Appeals Committee and, if necessary, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, and in the Swiss courts.
To be sentenced to eight years, you must commit a serious crime, said the 79-year-old Blatter who had worked 40 years for FIFA.
Blatter also told reporters that he felt betrayed by FIFA Ethics Committee and called Platini, 60, an honest man, who was planning to run for FIFA presidential elections next February 26.