ZURICH (AP) - Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were each banned for eight years by the FIFA ethics committee on Monday in a stunning takedown of world soccer's most powerful leaders.
FIFA President Blatter and his one-time protege Platini were kicked out of the sport for conflict of interest and disloyalty to FIFA in a $2 million payment deal that is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.
Blatter's FIFA career is ending in disgrace after more than 17 years as president and 40 years in total with the scandal-hit governing body.
Platini's bid to succeed his former mentor in the Feb. 26 presidential election is now likely over, though both are expected to appeal at the FIFA appeals committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Blatter has suggested he could pursue a lengthier appeal to Switzerland's highest court, the federal tribunal, which can intervene if legal process was abused.