Fifa president Sepp Blatter and his Uefa counterpart, Michel Platini, face being banned for several years, according to reports.
Fifa investigators are close to completing their inquiries over the SFr2 million “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011 for consultancy work he allegedly carried out on behalf of Blatter nine years earlier.
Blatter, who last week was discharged from hospital after being treated for stress, is under formal criminal investigation by the Swiss justice authorities.
Both Blatter and Platini, the Uefa president, are appealing against their 90-day suspensions. It is understood ethics officials are keen to conclude the case as quickly as possible to avoid proceedings dragging on until just days before the election
It is planned for the files on Blatter and Platini to be handed over by the end of November to Fifa’s German ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who will ultimately pass judgement on the pair.
“The 90-day decision was just a provisionary measure,” an ethics source told Inside World Football. “The final decision will be based on a full investigation and far more detailed documentation. Ideally we are trying to reach a conclusion by Christmas, when everyone goes on holiday, so that we can have a clear situation well before the electoral Congress.”
The case against Blatter and Platini is based partly on conflict of interest. That was the same issue cited in the cases of Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the Chilean who headed the 2018 and 2022 World Cup inspection team, and to South Korea’s former Fifa vice-president Chung Mong-joon who were banned for seven years and six years respectively.
“This should give you some kind of idea about how long any ban might be,” said the source. “But it could be even longer for Blatter and Platini if the suspicion of falsification of accounts is proved. That’s criminal behaviour in Switzerland.”