FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini, who were banned Monday morning from all soccer-related activities for eight years by the sport’s governing body, spoke to the press just before 6 a.m. EST. “I am still FIFA president,” Blatter told The Guardian. “I regret, but I am not ashamed.” An independent ethics committee investigation centered on a $2 million FIFA payment to Platini in 2011 that was approved by Blatter as uncontracted salary for the role of a presidential adviser from 1999-2002. The judges found Blatter in violation of ethics rules on conflicts of interest, breaches of loyalty, and offering gifts. Platini, who called the judgment “a masquerade,” will likely be banned from running to succeed Blatter as president in a Feb. 26 election. “I’ll be back!” Blatter reportedly exclaimed, and vowed he would appeal the ruling.
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