Sepp Blatter to appeal Fifa ban in Court of Arbitration for Sport
Sepp Blatter will appeal against a Fifa ruling banning him from football for eight years to the court of arbitration for sport (CAS), his spokesperson said on Monday.
“I can confirm this, yes,” Blatter spokesperson Klaus Stoelker told AFP when asked if the long-serving Fifa president would launch an appeal at the Lausanne-based court.
Fifa’s ethics court suspended Blatter, 79, and Uefa president Michel Platini, 60, for eight years over a 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million/1.8 million euros) payment that Blatter authorised to Platini.
Swiss prosecutors say it was a “disloyal payment” and have placed veteran football powerbroker Blatter under investigation.
Both men insisted the payment was legitimate as part of an oral contract.
Blatter said he was “astonished” that judges rejected evidence concerning the existence of an oral contract.
“You ask me if I feel betrayed... the answer is yes,” said the Swiss national.
Platini has been questioned in the Swiss case in a category that falls between a witness and an accused.
Swiss attorney general spokesperson Nathalie Guth told AFP in an email that prosecutors were “aware of the FIFA decision”. ]
She added that the verdict “would not influence the criminal proceedings” being carried out by the attorney general.
Regarding Blatter’s prospective CAS challenge, a spokesperson for Fifa’s ethics prosecutors, Andreas Bantel, said he first needed to read the motivation of such an appeal before commenting.
The ban, which comes as a corruption scandal swirls around Fifa, means that Blatter’s 17 years at the helm of world football will end in disgrace, and spells the end of Platini’s hopes of replacing the 79-year-old Swiss in a presidential election in February.
Platini, a former France international who was one of the finest players of his generation and had led the European football body Uefa since 2002, had been the favourite to win that election until he was suspended.
The ethics inquiry began in the wake of the Swiss attorney general’s decision to open criminal proceedings against Blatter over the payment to Platini. The office is also investigating the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals to Russia and Qatar.
In the United States, prosecutors have indicted 27 current or former soccer officials -- including eight former Fifa executive committee members -- over allegations that they ran bribery schemes connected to the sale of television rights for football competitions. Twelve people and two sports marketing companies have been convicted.