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Sepp Blatter loses appeal against six-year ban

By Sampson Adedeji
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Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has lost his appeal against a six-year ban from football for ethical malpractice in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

CAS’ ruling stipulates Blatter had violated FIFA’s code of ethics by authorising payments of US$2 million to Michel Platini, an “undue gift”.

“The Panel further found that Mr Blatter unlawfully awarded contributions to Mr Platini under the FIFA Executive Committee retirement scheme which also amounted to an undue gifts,” a

CAS statement said. Both Blatter and Platini had initially been banned for eight years, only to have them downgraded to six by FIFA’s appeals

committee. Blatter was in charge of FIFA for 17 years but resigned in June

last year after he and other FIFA officials were indicted for corruption charges in the US. He maintains the payment related to a verbal agreement

between he and Platini. Blatter must also pay a fine of 50,000 Swiss Francs, which amounts to roughly AU$66,000.

Although accepting of the decision, Blatter says it is “hard to follow”.

“The way the case progressed, no other verdict could be expected,” Blatter said.

“What I find incomprehensible is that the existence of the oral agreement between FIFA and Michel Platini is still steadfastly negated, in spite of my testimony to the contrary. “I have to accept this decision, although it is difficult to follow it.” Both men continue to deny any fault. Gianni Infantino was since named as Blatter’s successor.