Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Football

Defiant Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini vow to fight eight year football suspension

A defiant Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have vowed to fight their eight-year bans from football.

Blatter vowed to appeal against his eight-year ban from football to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) - and insisted he still views himself as Fifa president despite the sanction.

Speaking at a news conference in Zurich, Mr Blatter said: "I fight for me and I will fight for Fifa. Suspended for eight years for what?"

Later Michel Platini said he would also appeal to the CAS, branding his ban a "mockery".

In a statement, he said: "This decision does not surprise me. The FIFA ethics commission's procedure against me is a true mockery. It was orchestrated to tarnish my reputation.

"I'm convinced that my fate was decided before the December 18 hearing and that this decision is just a pathetic manoeuvre to hide a true will of taking me out of the football world."

Mr Blatter and Uefa president Michel Platini have received the same ban for conflict of interest and disloyalty to Fifa over a two million US dollars (£1.3 million) payment in 2011 based on an oral contract.

Ethics judges ruled Mr Blatter broke Fifa Code of Ethics rules on conflicts of interest, breach of loyalty and offering or receiving gifts.

Both denied wrongdoing when Mr Platini took the payment of Fifa money approved by Mr Blatter as uncontracted salary for work as a presidential adviser from 1999-2002.

Mr Blatter: "I'm sorry as president of Fifa I'm this punching ball."

He had already said he will stand aside in February when a new president is due to be elected. Mr Platini's bid to succeed his former mentor in that election is now likely over, though both are expected to appeal.

Mr Blatter was fined 50,000 Swiss francs (£33,500) and Platini 80,000 Swiss francs (£54,000).

"Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Mr Blatter able to demonstrate another legal basis for this payment," the judges said.

"By failing to place Fifa's interests first and abstain from doing anything which could be contrary to Fifa's interests, Mr Blatter violated his fiduciary duty to Fifa.

"His (Blatter's) assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber."

Mr Blatter hit back at that conclusion during his news conference, portraying the ethics committee as saying: "He's a liar and I'm a liar. This is not correct."

He made it clear he regrets his current position, but declared he is innocent of any wrongdoing.

"I regret, but I am not ashamed," he said. "I am sorry that I am a punching ball. I am sorry for football..."

He added: "I will fight. I will fight until the end."

His last words on leaving the conference were: "I'll be back."

Online Editors

Read More

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph