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Blatter, Platini to challenge Fifa’s eight-year ban


Sepp Blatter said he will appeal against a Monday ruling by Fifa’s ethics court banning him from football for eight years, claiming he was “betrayed” by judges who ignored evidence.

Speaking in Zurich, symbolically at the site of Fifa’s former headquarters, Blatter said he would first take his case to a Fifa appeals committee before challenging his suspension at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

Fifa judges banned the long-serving president Blatter and his one-time heir apparent Michel Platini over a $2 million (Sh200 million) payment that Blatter authorised to Platini in 2011, reportedly for consulting work done a decade earlier.

Both men insisted the payment was legitimate as part of an oral contract.

Blatter said he was “astonished” that judges rejected evidence concerning the existence of an oral contract.

“You ask me if I feel betrayed… the answer is yes,” said the Swiss national.

FATE SEALED

Speaking in English, he added that the ethics committee “deny an evidence and they try to build something up which is not true… Something that is not true cannot be proven”.

At the same time, French football legend Platini said on he will also go to sports and civil courts in a bid to overturn an eight year ban ordered by Fifa.

Platini said in a statement sent that the Fifa decision was a “masquerade” intended to “sully” his name.

“Parallel to going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, I am determined to apply, at the right time, to civil courts to obtain damages for all the prejudice I have suffered over very long weeks,” Platini said.

“This decision does not surprise me,” Platini said. “I am convinced that my fate was sealed before the hearing of December 18 and that this verdict is just a pathetic coverup for a desire to eliminate me from the world of football.”

“On the football field and in the exercise of my mandates, my behaviour has always been irreproachable and I am at ease with my conscience,” the former star player said.