FIFA ethics judges send written verdict to Blatter

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ZURICH (AP) — Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini can now launch appeals against their eight-year bans from football after FIFA's ethics committee judges sent them full written reasons for the verdicts.

Lawyers for Blatter and Platini needed the documents received Saturday to file formal appeals with FIFA, world soccer's governing body.

FIFA refused Platini's request last month to bypass its process and appeal directly to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"The adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee has fulfilled its commitment to provide the grounds for the respective decisions to Mr. Blatter and Mr. Platini within the first half of January 2016 as they had previously been informed," the judges said in a statement

Blatter wants to be cleared before the Feb. 26 FIFA election congress.

Platini has given up on being a candidate to succeed his former mentor Blatter but wants to clear his name and retain his presidency of European soccer body UEFA. Platini's communication team told The Associated Press that they received all the documents needed on Friday night and will likely lodge their appeal with FIFA on Monday.

Blatter and Platini deny wrongdoing but were judged last month to have broken ethics rules on conflicts of interest, breach of loyalty and offering or receiving gifts.

Platini took $2 million of FIFA money in 2011 - a payment approved by Blatter as uncontracted salary for work as a presidential adviser from 1999-2002.

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