Outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter and suspended UEFA boss Michel Platini have had their bans from football reduced from eight to six years.
Blatter and Platini were banished from the game for a conflict of interest in a A$2.8 million payment deal made to Platini that is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.
In an appeal on Wednesday both bans were upheld but their lengths were reduced.
“The Appeal Committee considered that Mr Platini’s and Mr Blatter’s activities and the services they had rendered to FIFA, UEFA and football in general over the years should deserve appropriate recognition as a mitigating factor,” FIFA said in a statement.
Speaking after the appeal, Platini maintained his innocence.
“The charges against me are baseless, built from the ground up and surreal in view of the facts and the explanations I gave during the hearing,” Platini said.
“I will go through all the possible appeals, starting with CAS. I will go to the end of my fight to show that I’m innocent.”
Blatter and Platini are expected to take their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
A new FIFA president will be elected on Friday at an extraordinary FIFA congress in Zurich.
Platini, a former star player for France and Juventus in Italy has been disgraced by the scandal.
For Blatter, these allegations have been seen as a smoking gun for authorities to punish the long-serving FIFA boss for years of widely reported suspect dealings in the roll.
A vote will be held on Friday (AEDT) to appoint a new FIFA President.
Blatter and Platini are not in the running due to their bans. Platini had long hoped to be FIFA President, however this scandal seemed to have ruled him out for good.