ZURICH (AP):The lack of a written contract and a delay collecting payment led to the 90-day suspensions for Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, a person familiar with the FIFA ethics case told The Associated Press yesterday.Blatter and Platini were handed 90-day bans last week after failing to provide written evidence to justify a payment of two million Swiss francs (about $US2 million) that Platini received from FIFA in 2011 – nine years after the job was completed – according to the person. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to speak publicly about the case.Both Blatter, the FIFA president, and Platini, his counterpart at UEFA, face longer bans if the FIFA ethics committee proves its case to ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert. The full verdicts are expected before the 90-day suspensions end.Both deny wrongdoing and are appealing against their suspensions.The ethics case was triggered by Blatter and Platini becoming embroiled in a criminal investigation in Switzerland over the same payment. Blatter was questioned as a suspect, and Platini is being investigated by the Swiss attorney general as something between a witness and a suspect.The payment relates to the time when Platini worked for Blatter as an adviser from 1998 until 2002, when the former France captain joined the FIFA executive committee.Contractually, Platini was to be paid 300,000 Swiss francs per year for his job. He claims an additional 500,000 Swiss francs per year was to be deferred. The Frenchman received 1.05 million Swiss francs for 3 1/2 years of work, the person said, reiterating details first published by The Guardian newspaper yesterday.According to the person, there was only a verbal agreement on the additional 500,000 Swiss francs per year – the amount eventually paid in 2011. Under Swiss law, Platini should have called in the debt within five years.Platini, who was also a FIFA vice-president under Blatter until he was suspended on Thursday, said two weeks ago that he was not paid “the totality of my salary because of FIFA’s financial situation at that time”.ethics committee statementA statement from the ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber, which is headed by Eckert, said yesterday that it interviewed Platini for more than five hours on October 1. Eckert “did not see a need for a second hearing” before imposing the provisional suspension, the statement added.UEFA has rebuffed requests by the AP to ask Platini to provide a contract that shows FIFA owed him two million Swiss francs. Some soccer nations have also publicly questioned Platini’s limited public explanation.UEFA said last week that Platini feels “he has given satisfactory explanations to the authorities that are dealing with this case”.The provisional ban looks set to derail Platini’s hopes of standing in the FIFA presidential election, which is scheduled for February 26. But the FIFA executive committee could decide to postpone the ballot when it meets on October 20.In a separate case, FIFA suspended Thai soccer association president, Worawi Makudi, for 90 days. Details of the case were not provided yesterday, but Worawi has been under investigation for his conduct during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests.
Murder/sodomy of 2-year-oldThe teen who was accused of sodomising his two-year-old niece and murdering her in the process on Tuesday was freed by a 12-member jury at the High Court.Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry dismissed the charge against Kevin Rankin after the jury unanimously agreed that he was not guilty of the act.As the jury foreman read the not-guilty verdict, Rankin threw both arms into the air and shouted “yes” before running out of the courtroom, pursued by several relatives of the dead toddler.Rankin was accused of committing the act on October 21, 2013 at Haslington Village, East Coast Demerara (ECD) when the toddler was left in his care.At that time, Rankin was only 15 years old and had been at a relative’s home with the toddler while the child’s mother left to conduct some errands. When the mother returned home, she was allegedly informed that something had been wrong with the child and she had died.The woman then rushed the two-year-old to the CC Nicholson Health Centre at Nabaclis, ECD, before the child was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where she was pronounced dead.During the trial, Defence Attorney Sandil Kissoon had argued that the prosecution’s case against his client was flawed since there were no photographs produced to the Court that had been taken of the scene where the crime allegedly occurred or even the house in which the alleged crime had taken place. He had posited that the investigations did not take any statement from any neighbour or eyewitness.Meanwhile, State witness, Pathologist Nehaul Singh testified that an autopsy, which was performed on the body of the toddler, indicated that she had been sodomised. He told the jury that the two-year-old suffered abdominal trauma, including bleeding of her liver and spleen. Dr Singh revealed that the child had also suffered from concussions to both her head and neck which were consistent with a blow or fall.Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Dr Singh acknowledged that the injury to the toddler’s chest cavity could have been also caused during the administration of CPR by someone who did not have experience in administering the life-saving technique.It should be noted that Rankin had initially told the Court that he did not harm his niece on the day in question, but had taken her to a relative’s home for her “to play”. He said that was when she became sick, complained about chest pains, and subsequently became unresponsive. Given that the child was not breathing, his cousin tried to administer CPR, Rankin had said.