The verdict in former FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s appeal against a six-year ban for unethical conduct will be announced today. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Friday it will publish the ruling at 3 p.m. Swiss time. Blatter has repeatedly denied wrongdoing in authorizing a $2 million payment to Michel Platini in 2011. They claimed it was uncontracted salary for France great Platini advising Blatter from 1999 to 2002. FIFA’s ethics committee ruled the payment was a conflict of interest in 2011 — just as a
FIFA presidential election campaign was starting — and banned both for eight years last December. FIFA’s appeal committee cut the bans to six years.
Platini, who gave evidence for Blatter at a 14- hour hearing in August, previously had his ban cut to four years at CAS. Though a different three-member panel judged Blatter’s case, it would typically be obliged to respect the precedent of the Platini case which was based on much of the same evidence. Swiss federal prosecutors opened criminal
proceedings against Blatter in September 2015 when details of the “disloyal payment” to Platini emerged. Both men were questioned at FIFA headquarters by Swiss investigators who waited for them outside an executive committee meeting. The case ended then-FIFA vice president Platini’s chance to replace Blatter as president, and also forced him out of UEFA. Whatever the verdict today, Blatter faces another FIFA ethics investigation over alleged bribery and self-dealing in his contract, plus the employment deals of his former secretary general Jerome Valcke and finance director Markus Kattner. FIFA has fired both officials.
Story Courtesy: Sampson Adedeji.