Sepp Blatter appears before CAS as appeal against six-year ban begins

‘My name wouldn’t be Sepp Blatter if I didn’t have faith, if I wasn’t optimistic’

Sepp Blatter’s appeal against his six-year ban began on Thursday. Photograph: Reuters

Sepp Blatter’s appeal against his six-year ban began on Thursday. Photograph: Reuters

 

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

The 80-year-old, who headed football’s global governing body for 17 years until he resigned in June last year, was banned from all soccer-related activity last December along with the then European football 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 two million Swiss francs that Fifa made to Platini with Blatter’s approval in 2011 for work done a decade earlier.

“I’m sure at the end...that the 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,” Blatter said.

Platini also appeared for the closed-door hearing.

“I come, for the umpteenth time, to tell the truth,” he told reporters.

Both men, who have denied wrongdoing, were initially banned for eight years, later reduced to six by Fifa’s own appeals committee. 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 Blatter’s appeal will be announced.

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

Several dozen football officials, including former Fifa executive committee members, and entities were indicted in the United States 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.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.