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Mixed reactions trail football administrators' 8-year ban

Blatter and Platini, were on Monday suspended following FIFA Ethics Committee investigation of the "disloyal payment’’ in 2011.

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini

Some football administrators on Tuesday expressed mixed reactions over the suspension of Sepp Blatter, FIFA President and Michel Platini, UEFA president for eight years each from all football-related activities.

The two were found guilty of breaches surrounding a 1.3 million pound ($2m) "disloyal payment’’ authorised by Blatter in favour of Platini in 2011.

The FIFA Ethics Committee which found Blatter and Platini guilty said they demonstrated an "abusive execution’’ of their positions.

Some of the football pundits who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that Nigerian sports administrators must learn from the incident.

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They claimed that administrators must embrace transparency to avoid messy court cases.

Adegboye Onigbinde, a FIFA and CAF instructor urged Nigerian to learn from the Blatter/Platini saga and commended FIFA for taking the hard decision.

"I hope Nigerians will learn lessons from this; if FIFA can do that to a whole Blatter; it indicates that FIFA is a well-organised international body.

"Another lesson we have to learn is that for decades people have been saying that football matters cannot be taken to courts but we can see what is happening at the FIFA level now.

"When people have things to hide, they start threatening us. These are the lessons we have to learn that no matter how mighty you are, let us have the fear of God in us.

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"Everyday for the thief one day for the owner,” he said.

Sam Toro, a former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) said he was happy about the Blatter decision to fight FIFA for his innocence.

"I am not saying he is innocent but any African should not be happy at the developments because he has done so much for the continent.

"It was during his time that Africa was able to host a FIFA World Cup. Nobody wanted Africa to host the world cup but Blatter insisted.

"It was during his time that Africa saw many developments in the world of football and he also brought in money into football.

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"He has fought for football for a very long time and I feel that such a thing should not be done to him, I hope they can review his case and give him a lesser punishment,’’ he said.

Sani Lulu, also a former NFA President said that this was part of the change that all football stakeholders had been calling for in FIFA.

"I know God is doing some work there. It is change all over the place, even in Nigeria, so let us believe that this change mantra is ordained by God. It is spreading to all over the world”.

Shehu Dikko, the Chairman of League Management Company (LMC) said he had yet to assess the situation critically to form an opinion.

"I am still studying the situation and the details before I can form an opinion about the whole issue,’’ Dikko said.

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