LAUSANNE: Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter vowed to accept his fate as he entered the world’s top sport court on Thursday 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 ($2 million, 1.8 million euros) 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. However, Blatter’s hopes for redemption at CAS are likely hampered by Platini’s failed appeal at the Lausanne-based court. In a May ruling CAS judges said they were “not convinced” that the $2 million payment was legitimate.