• Kobe sees FIFA bans as ‘important first step’

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    LOS ANGELES: NBA legend Kobe Bryant called the eight-year bans issued on Monday to FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini an “important first step” in cleaning up global football. The 37-year-old Los Angeles Lakers guard, a five-time NBA champion and twice an Olympic gold medal winner, is in his 20th and final NBA campaign, announcing his retirement last month. The American spent several years as a youth in Italy playing football and supporting AC Milan. He follows the sport and was clear in his condemnation of Blatter and Platini, barred for abusing their positions over a suspect $2 million (1.8 million euro) payment. Bryant had confidence that those making efforts to revamp FIFA in the wake of the corruption will succeed.

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