Blat­ter vows to ‘ac­cept’ ban ap­peal ver­dict

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

FOR­MER Fifa pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter vowed to ac­cept his fate as he en­tered the world’s top sport court yes­ter­day to mount his fi­nal ap­peal against his six-year ban from foot­ball.

“I will ac­cept the ver­dict,” Blat­ter (80) told jour­nal­ists out­side the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport (CAS) in Lau­sanne, Switzer­land.

“I do hope it will be pos­i­tive for me, but we are foot­ballers. We learn to win but also we learn to lose," he added, flanked by his Swiss lawyer Lorenz Erni.

The case that trig­gered Blat­ter’s down­fall first emerged in Septem­ber of last year, when Swiss pros­e­cu­tors said they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing Blat­ter over a sus­pect two mil­lion Swiss franc pay­ment (ap­prox­i­mately R28.2 mil­lion) he au­tho­rised in 2011 to his one-time heir ap­par­ent, Michel Pla­tini.

He was first pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pended by Fifa’s ethics com­mit­tee. A full in­ves­ti­ga­tion and trial by Fifa’s in-house court found Blat­ter and Pla­tini both guilty of ethics vi­o­la­tions.

They were banned from foot­ball for eight years in De­cem­ber. A Fifa ap­peals com­mit­tee cut those penal­ties to six years in Fe­bru­ary.

Blat­ter’s hopes for re­demp­tion at CAS are likely ham­pered by Pla­tini’s failed ap­peal at the Lau­san­nebased court. In a May rul­ing CAS judges said they were “not con­vinced” that the $2 mil­lion pay­ment was le­git­i­mate.

Mean­while, Fifa says its com­pen­sa­tion panel which must set Pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino’s salary will meet next week. In­fantino has worked without a salary deal since be­ing elected six months ago to head world soc­cer’s gov­ern­ing body, and de­scribed a $2 mil­lion of­fer as in­sult­ing. — AFP.

Tendai Ndoro

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