Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter has lost his appeal against a six-year ban from football after his case was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Here we answer some of the main questions raised by the verdict.
Why has Blatter been banned?
Blatter claimed he had a verbal agreement with Uefa counterpart Michel Platini to pay the Frenchman £1 million a year for his work with the world governing body. Platini was paid £1.3 million in 2011 – the alleged outstanding balance for consultancy work undertaken between 1998 and 2002. However, that was ruled to be a “disloyal payment” by Fifa’s ethics committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) agreed.
What was the case for the defence?
Blatter and Platini always maintained their innocence, insisting their contract was a “gentleman’s agreement” and claiming Platini agreed to wait for some of his payment because Fifa was in financial bother in 2002.
So why did Blatter’s appeal fail?
Essentially, because the CAS panel ruled the written employment contract established between Platini and Fifa in 1999 voided any oral agreement concluded between Blatter and Platini in 1998.
Why does Blatter’s ban remain when Platini’s was reduced?
Blatter did not ask for the panel to consider a reduction. He asked for an annulment of the ban. CAS rejected that request and, even though it was not asked to consider a reduction, stated the sanction imposed “was not disproportionate”. Effectively, Blatter deserved what he got.
Where does that leave Blatter now?
Blatter is currently 80 and his ban will not expire until he is 85. Even if he wanted to get back into football, his age, and the scandal which has engulfed him, is likely to deter any potential interested parties.
He appeared to concede his career in the sport is now officially over by saying: “I have to accept this decision… nevertheless I look back with gratitude to all the years in which I was able to realise my ideals for football and serve Fifa.”