Sport Football Former FIFA boss Blatter appeals six-year ban

Former FIFA boss Blatter appeals six-year ban

Sepp Blatter
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Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter has lodged an appeal against his six-year ban from soccer for ethics violations, the Court of Arbitration for Sport says.

The Lausanne-based organisation said on Thursday the 80-year-old Swiss wanted to overturn last month’s decision by the appeals committee of world football’s ruling body FIFA.

Blatter and Michel Platini, president of European football’s governing body UEFA, were banned over a payment of two million Swiss francs ($A2.65 million) made by FIFA to the Frenchman in 2011, with Blatter’s approval, for work done a decade earlier.

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Both men have denied any wrong-doing.

Blatter has vowed to “go to the end of my life to show that I’m innocent”.

Platini filed a similar appeal against his suspension earlier this month.

CAS said Blatter and FIFA’s appeals committee would exchange written submissions, with a three-arbitrator panel to be created before a hearing is held.

Adding insult to injury, the soccer body published Blatter’s salary for the first time under new governance regulations, revealing it paid the disgraced boss 3.63 million Swiss francs ($A5.03 million) last year.

FIFA also announced it lost $US122 million ($A161.64 million) in 2015, its first deficit since 2002, attributing that mainly to the costs of battling the worst graft scandal in its history.

In particular, FIFA’s legal fees rose from $US31.29 million in 2014 to $US61.49 million while its reserves dropped from $US1.52 billion to $US1.34 billion.

“The unprecedented events that occurred in 2015 have impacted upon FIFA’s financial results, however the organisation’s healthy reserves have allowed it to weather the storm,” the Swiss-based federation said in a statement.

FIFA is seeking to turn the page on a long-running scandal that escalated in 2015 when police swooped on a luxury Zurich hotel to arrest soccer officials accused by US federal prosecutors of corruption.

Dozens of people have since been charged in investigations that have spanned five continents.

Swiss Gianni Infantino, the former UEFA general secretary, was elected president of FIFA last month and pledged to refocus the organisation on soccer rather than corruption and litigation.

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