Blatter argues his case at FIFA headquarters in Zurich

Sport360 staff 07:53 17/02/2016
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Sepp Blatter was previously found guilty of 'disloyal payment' to Michel Platini.

Banned FIFA president Sepp Blatter returned to the world governing body’s headquarters in Zurich yesterday to appeal against his eightyear suspension from all footballrelated activity.

It was reported Blatter arrived at 07:30 local time (10:30, UAE time) for the appeal hearing, evading journalists and photographers as he entered the premises.

The 79-year-old Swiss was handed the ban in December after he was found guilty of a 2 million Swiss Franc “disloyal payment” to UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011.

Frenchman Platini, who was also served with an eight-year ban for his role in the payment, made his case against his suspension at a FIFA appeal hearing on Monday.

The 60-year-old told reporters he had nothing to hide and was fighting not for his future but “against injustice’’.

The FIFA appeals committee, which is chaired by Larry Mussenden, the president of the Bermuda Football Association, has the power to reduce, increase or overturn the bans imposed in December, with a verdict expected later this week.

Both men have argued that the funds paid by Blatter to Platini were part of a legitimate oral contract for consulting work done by Platini a decade earlier, but FIFA’s ethics judges dismissed that explanation.

The ethics committee investigatory chamber has also confirmed that it is appealing against the sanctions imposed on the pair on the grounds that they are too lenient.

If Blatter and Platini’s appeals prove unsuccessful, it is likely they would take their fight to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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