LAUSANNE: Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has asked to appear witness for the world football federation when Michel Platini appeals against his own six-year ban at the Court of Arbitration tomorrow.
Platini, president of European federation UEFA, was banned from all football by the FIFA ethics committee last December for accepting a ‘disloyal payment’ of SFr2m in 2011 from Blatter in his role as FIFA president.
Both Platini and Blatter were banned originally for eight years which was subsequently reduced to six years by the FIFA appeal committee. Blatter has also challenging his sanction at CAS and is awaiting a hearing date.
Platini’s lawyers had sought an early hearing because the Frenchman hopes to clear his name so as to reassume his role at the head of European football in time for the European Championship finals in his native France in June and July.
Both men have consistently denial any wrongdoing concerning the payment which is the subject of criminal investigation by the Swiss judicial authorities.
FIFA’s interim secretary general, Markus Kattner, is another potential witness, either in person or by video link. Kattner has been FIFA’s finance director for more than a decade and handled Platini’s request for payment in 2010.
FIFA ethics judges found Platini guilty last December of a conflict of interest and breach of ethics regulations. An ethics prosecution claim of corruption was rejected. However the scandal wrecked his prospects of succeeding Blatter as president of FIFA.