Sepp Blatter appeals six-year soccer ban

Blatter claims €2m payment to Platini was the repayment of a debt.

Disgraced former Fifa president Sepp Blatter appeared before sport’s highest tribunal, the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS), yesterday to appeal against his six-year ban from soccer.

The 80-year-old, who headed soccer’s global governing body for 17 years until he resigned in June last year, was banned from all football-related activity last December along with the then European soccer boss Michel Platini.

“My name wouldn’t be Sepp Blatter if I didn’t have faith, if I wasn’t optimistic,” he told reporters as he arrived for the hearing.

“I will accept the verdict because, in football, we learn to win, this is easy, but we also learn to lose, but this is not good, I wouldn’t want to lose.”

The bans were imposed for ethics violations related to a payment of 2m Swiss francs that Fifa made to Mr Platini with Mr Blatter’s approval in 2011 for work done a decade earlier.

“I’m sure at the end... that the [CAS] panel will understand that the payment made to Platini was really a debt that we [owed] him and this is a principle, if you have debts, you pay them,” said Mr Blatter.

Both men, who have denied wrongdoing, were initially banned for eight years, later reduced to six by Fifa’s own appeals committee. Mr Platini has already taken his case to CAS, who rejected his appeal but reduced his ban to four years.

CAS have not said when its final decision on Mr Blatter’s appeal will be announced.

Mr Blatter resigned in the midst of a Fifa corruption crisis only four days into his fifth term.

Several dozen football officials were indicted in the US on corruption-related charges last year.

Switzerland, for its part, opened a criminal investigation into the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.


To instantly power up your look, veer towards the hard shoulder.Bold shoulder: How to instantly power up your look

Plums are a wonderful autumn fruit, useful for all sorts of recipes both sweet and savoury. In Ireland we are blessed with wonderfully sweet plums.Currabinny Cooks: Juicy plums work for both sweet and savoury dishes

The rise of home skincare devices doesn't mean that salons and clinics no longer serve a purpose.The Skin Nerd: Don’t try this at home — new treatments in the salon

Millions of gamers watched Fortnite reach breaking point on Sunday night, with ten seasons of mysterious storyline culminating in meteors hitting the island and everything disappearing.GameTech: End of beginning for Fortnite as Chapter 2 finally goes live

More From The Irish Examiner