Ex Fifa president Blatter loses appeal against ban

BERLIN: Former FIFA president Joseph Blatter said Monday he has lost his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)against a six-year ban from football. Blatter made the announcement via a statement shortly before the CAS was to publish its verdict. “I take note of the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.The way the case progressed, no other verdict could be expected,” he said. Blatter, 80, was banned for eight years last year by the FIFA ethicscommittee over a “disloyal payment” of 2 million Swiss francs (2.07million dollars) to former European football chief Michel Platini,which was made nine years after consultancy work was carried out.
The FIFA appeals committee later reduced the suspension to six years,a ruling Blatter appealed at the CAS as he protested his innocencethroughout the case – but to no avail. “What I find incomprehensible is that the existence of the oralagreement between FIFA and Michel Platini is still steadfastlynegated in spite of my testimony to the contrary and the testimonygiven by other witnesses. A UEFA protocol mentioning the agreement is also disregarded,” he said Monday.
“I have experienced much in my 41 years in FIFA. I mostly learned that you can win in sport, but you can also lose. In this sense I have to accept this decision although it is difficult to follow it, because the principle of jurisdiction – culpability has to be proven by prosecution – was not applied.
“Nevertheless I look back with gratitude to all the years, in which I was able to realise my ideals for football and serve FIFA.
Blatter headed football’s governing body between 1999 until his suspension over the case in October 2015, with Gianni Infantino eventually elected new FIFA president in February 2016.
He said in June 2015 he would step down, after corruption allegations against senior football officials and several arrests ahead of a FIFA congress a few days earlier in connection with probes in the US and Switzerland.
Platini also took his case to CAS, which in May reduced his ban from six to four years. The case ended his ambition to become FIFA president and he stepped down as UEFA boss after the CAS ruling.