FIFA hears Blatter appeal against eight-year ban

Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:42am EST
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ZURICH (Reuters) - Banned FIFA president Sepp Blatter was at the headquarters of soccer's governing body on Tuesday for a hearing to appeal against his eight-year suspension from the sport.

Blatter, 79, was banned in December along with European soccer boss Michel Platini over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2 million) made to the Frenchman in 2011 by FIFA with Blatter's approval for work done a decade earlier.

FIFA's ethics committee, which imposed the bans on Blatter and Platini, said the payment, made at a time when the former was seeking re-election, lacked transparency and presented conflicts of interest. Both men denied wrongdoing.

The case is now being heard by FIFA's Appeal Committee.

Sources close to FIFA said that Blatter had arrived 7.30 am local time, evading cameramen and photographers who had expected him to arrive later.

Blatter's adviser Thomas Renggli told Reuters he expected to get the verdict later this week.

Soccer's world ruling body is engulfed by a graft scandal that has led to the indictment of several dozen leading soccer officials in the United States. Platini's appeal was heard on Monday.

(Corrects story date.)

(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks with UEFA President Michel Platini (L) before the 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match between Germany and Portugal at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador June 16, 2014.      REUTERS/Darren Staples