Reaction to 8-year bans for Blatter and Platini

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LONDON (AP) — Reaction to the eight-year bans handed out Monday by the FIFA ethics commission to FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini:


"I am sorry that I am a punching ball. I am sorry for football. ... I am now suspended eight years, suspended eight years. Suspended eight years for what? ... I will fight. I will fight until the end." — Sepp Blatter, FIFA president.


"This decision does not surprise me... It was orchestrated to tarnish myself by governing bodies that I know well and that I refuse to accord any legitimacy or credibility today. ... My behavior has always been faultless and I'm at peace with my own conscience." — Michel Platini, UEFA president.


"Naturally, UEFA is extremely disappointed with this decision, which nevertheless is subject to appeal. Once again, UEFA supports Michel Platini's right to a due process and the opportunity to clear his name." — UEFA statement.


"Michel Platini's suspension is shocking and saddens me. It seems unbelievable. But it does not surprise me as the ethics commission president had already announced that Michel would be suspended for several years. Michel's guilt was decided in advance." — Noel Le Graet, French Football Federation president.


"The decision is in line with the expectations. Regardless, FIFA and UEFA must now make basic choices both in structural terms and in terms of human resources. An exchange of heads is not sufficient. The aim is to regain the lost trust and credibility, this will take years anyway." — Reinhard Rauball, acting president of the German football federation.


"Eight years are not enough for me. ... The penalty should be that they can never again form part of a sports institution." — Javier Tebas, Spanish league president.


"FIFA had admitted there was no corruption. There are only suppositions of collusion. But this is how FIFA works. Mr. Blatter was the only master on board, giving whatever he wanted to everyone he wanted. There was nothing abnormal with that. Michel's problem is the timing: It happens at the wrong time." — Raymond Domenech, former France coach.

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