Crucial day in the the life and career of Sepp Blatter.
Banned FIFA president Sepp Blatter in in Zurich today to appeal against his eight-year suspension from football.
Blatter, 79, was banned in December after he was found guilty of misconduct over a £1.3million “disloyal payment” made to UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011.
Blatter arrived early for his scheduled start with the FIFA appeal committee to challenge ethics committee sanctions imposed in December.
Arriving for his hearing with FIFA’s appeals committee, Platini told waiting reporters: “I am not fighting for my future, I am fighting against injustice.”
Michel Platini said he was satisfied after a marathon eight-hour hearing at the headquarters of the sport’s governing body.
“It was a good hearing, well led by sincere people. I was heard by people who are part of the football family. Now we’ll see how it goes,” he told journalists.
Platini, accompanied by his lawyer Thibaud D’Ales, presented two witnesses – Frenchman Jacques Lambert, the president of the Euro-2016 organising committee, and Spaniard Angel Maria Villar Llona, a UEFA vice-president – to verify the existence of the oral contract allegedy agreed between himself and Blatter.
If Platini fails to have his sanction overturned, it is likely he would take his fight to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) with Blatter, who has also denied any wrongdoing, expected to do the same. The Frenchman said he expeceted to receive a verdict by Thursday.
UEFA stated last month that it will not hold an election for its presidency until Platini’s appeals process has been exhausted.
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 ban imposed in December.
Platini and Blatter have been the most high-profile casualties in the wide-ranging scandal that has seen senior football executives suspended or fired, with 41 people indicted for corruption by the United States.