Michel Platini will “be suspended for several years”, FIFA Ethics Committee spokesman Andreas Bantel said on Friday.
UEFA chief Platini and FIFA president Sepp Blatter are both serving 90-day bans from football-related activities while an investigation is carried out into an alleged £1.3m payment made to the Frenchman by world football’s governing body.
“Platini will certainly be suspended for several years,” Bantel was quoted as saying by French website L’Equipe.
Blatter is due to standing down as FIFA president with an election to choose his successor on set for February 26.
“As for Blatter, there is no difference for him between a suspension of a few years and a life ban,” Bantel added.
But Platini’s lawyers have hit back at Bantel’s comments, accusing FIFA’s Ethics Committee of subjecting the Frenchman to a “sham procedure”, adding the remarks “constituted a patent violation of the presumption of innocence”.
“We have learned with anger and dismay the comments of Mr Andreas Bantel,” Platini’s lawyers said in a statement.
“He….has breached the presumption of innocence and demonstrates the political objectives being pursued by FIFA’s Ethics Committee.
“They demonstrate also that the Ethics Committee is pursuing a political objective for whom contradictory arguments and the hearing that it fixed itself for 18 December will manifestly serve no purpose
“Mr Platini, for whom the sanction already seems to have been fixed (decided) by the FIFA Ethics Committee before his explanations have been heard, strongly denounces these practices which showcase the sham procedure of which he has been the object for week
But Bantel insisted in his interview that “in this case, the question of corruption is well-founded”.
“Suppose even the charge of corruption is not accepted by the chamber, there are many others offences such as a conflict of interest, mismanagement or falsification of accounts,” said the official.
“All of this is sufficient to suspend Blatter and Platini for several years.”
FIFA’s Ethics Committee is split into an investigating arm and judging arm, with Bantel working for the latter. He was part of the team that investigated the claims against Platini and Blatter and recommended that they are given multi-year bans.
But it is the judging arm that will ultimately make a decision on Platini and Blatter’s future and nobody from that part of FIFA’s Ethics committee has said anything as yet.
Bantel has since told Sky Sports News HQ’s chief news reporter Kaveh Solhekol that he stands by the comments he made to L’Equipe.