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blatter, ex-protege get eight-year ethics suspensions from fifa

ZURICH — Banished from soccer's ruling body, FIFA, for eight years for unethical conduct, Sepp Blatter won't give up the presidency without a fight.

"I will fight. I will fight until the end," Blatter, 79, said Monday at a news conference that started 90 minutes after he and former protege Michel Platini, 60, were banned by FIFA's ethics committee.

It was a stunning removal of world soccer's most powerful leaders over a $2 million payment by FIFA to Platini, president of Europe's ruling body, UEFA. The payment is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.

Already serving a provisional ban, Blatter, who has worked for FIFA for 40 years, and his longtime likely successor were kicked out of the sport two months before 209 member federations elect a new leader.

Platini, a FIFA vice president whose bid to succeed Blatter on Feb. 26 now looks over, described the proceedings as a "true mockery."

Their offenses were judged to be conflict of interest and disloyalty to FIFA. They avoided life bans because corruption was not proven.

More soccer: Host Arsenal boosted its English Premier League title hopes with a 2-1 win over Manchester City. Arsenal has 36 points, two behind leader Leicester. City is third with 32.


baseball: Right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino and the Rockies agreed to a $10.4 million, three-year contract. … The Mariners hired Amanda Hopkins as an area scout and said she is believed to be the first woman hired as a full-time scout by a major-league club since the 1950s.

golf: Lee Westwood will narrowly get into the top 50 in the world rankings at the end of the year and qualify for next year's Masters. The top 50 at the end of the year are eligible for the Masters. Chris Kirk will fall to No. 51, but he is eligible from his victory this year at the Colonial.

Track and field: A senior official of the world governing body, IAAF, denied trying to delay public identification of alleged Russian drug cheats ahead of the 2013 world championships in Moscow. French newspaper Le Monde said it had a copy of an email sent by Nick Davies, formerly director of communications and now deputy general secretary, in which he talked of "what Russian 'skeleton' we have still in the cupboard regarding doping."

Times wires

Sports in brief 12/21/15 [Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2015 11:08pm]
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