UEFA president Michel Platini's six-year ban from football was reduced to four years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday.
Platini was banned by football governing body FIFA in connection with a disloyal payment of some 2 million dollars (2 million Swiss francs) he received from then FIFA president Joseph Blatter in 2011 for FIFA work done as a FIFA presidential adviser a decade earlier.
The CAS panel ruled that Platini "obtained an undue advantage in breach of Article 20 of the FIFA Code of Ethics" and was "guilty of a conflict of interest in breach of Article 19 of the FIFA Code of Ethics."
It was "not convinced by the legitimacy" of the 2 million Swiss francs payment "which was only recognized by Mr Platini and Mr Blatter, and which occurred more than 8 years after the end of his work relations."
The payment was "was not based on any document established at the time of the contractual relations and did not correlate with the alleged unpaid part of his salary."
Platini also "benefited from the extension of a pension plan to which he was not entitled," a CAS statement said.
However, the CAS panel considered that the suspension "was nevertheless too severe and therefore decided to reduce such suspension to 4 years, which corresponds to the duration of a presidential term..."
The 60-year-old former France and Juventus midfielder had hoped to be cleared to oversee the Euro 2016 tournament beginning next month in his native France in his function as UEFA boss.
He was heard at a CAS hearing in Lausanne, Switzerland on April 29 when Blatter, who is also appealing to CAS against his ban, appeared as a witness.
Platini was suspended in October and subsequently banned for eight years, later reduced to six. He went to CAS seeking to annul the decisions taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the FIFA ethics committee and by the FIFA appeal committee.
In the light of the CAS ruling, the UEFA executive committee is now expected to go ahead with an extraordinary meeting on May 18 to discuss a presidential election.
The meeting was due to take place in Basel, Switzerland, ahead of the Europa League final set for the same day.
Monday, May 9, 2016 - 13:01
Saturday, January 9, 2016 - 12:33