Blatter fights FIFA ban in marathon final appeal
Lausanne (AFP) - Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter fought to overturn his ban from football inside a marathon, 14-hour appeal hearing on Thursday, within a long-shot bid at redemption soon after his profession ended in disgrace.
Blatter mounted his defence against the six-year FIFA suspension imposed more than ethics violations at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which commonly has the final word in major sport disputes.
Engulfed by corruption scandals since Might of final year and the target of a criminal investigation in his native Switzerland, the 80-year-old Blatter appeared upbeat immediately after emerging from the courthouse nicely into the night.
"It's a lengthy day," Blatter stated at ten:35 pm (2035 GMT). "I cannot give any prognosis how it will be decided."
He entered CAS shortly before eight:00 am wearing a dark navy suit and sporting some light stubble, telling reporters he remained "optimistic" and had self-confidence inside the arbitrators.
The case that triggered Blatter's downfall first emerged in September of last year, when Swiss prosecutors said they have been investigating him more than a suspect two million Swiss franc payment ($2 million, 1.eight million euros) he authorised in 2011 to his one-time heir apparent, Michel Platini.
Blatter has insisted the payment was a part of a reputable oral contract, a claim that has been rejected in several hearings at FIFA's in-house courts.
World football's former most highly effective man stated he would respect the CAS selection, which need to be delivered inside weeks.