Suspended Uefa president Michel Platini’s appeal against his six-year ban football is being heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Platini is hoping to have his ban overturned before the Euro 2016 finals, which will be held in his native France in June and July.
CAS said a decision could even be made as early as next week, depending on how today’s hearing panned out.
Platini was banned for eight years in December along with former former Fifa president Blatter over a ‘disloyal’ payment of 2 million Swiss francs (1.4 million pounds) made to the Frenchman by FIFA with Blatter’s approval in 2011 for work done a decade earlier.
Both had their bans reduced to six years by FIFA’s Appeal Committee in February after it took into account their services to the game. Both men have denied any wrongdoing and opted to take their fight to CAS, the ultimate arbiter of sporting legal disputes.
Platini, flanked by reporters when he arrived for the hearing in Lausanne, spoke optimistically about his chances of getting the ban overturned.
“Today, we’re at the beginning of the game, a new game, in the final … I hope the outcome will be good,” he said.
“Of course, I am optimistic that we are going to win, that I am going to win.”
CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb said that Blatter, FIFA and UEFA vice-president Angel Maria Villar and Jacques Lambert, head of the Euro 2016 organizing committee, had all been called to give evidence.
He said the hearing, in front a panel of three judges, was expected to last all day, with a judgement coming possibly as early as next week.
“We don’t know exactly when the final decision will be rendered, hopefully it could be early next week or a little later depending on what the parties today tell us,” he told reporters.
UEFA will hold its annual Congress in Budapest on Tuesday but Reeb could not say whether the decision would come before it opens.
“Probably I will know about that later today because the timing is quite sharp,” he said.
Blatter’s own appeal against his ban will be heard separately at a later date.