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CORRUPTION

Platini appeals ban at world sports tribunal

UEFA president Michel Platini on Wednesday made a formal appeal against his six year ban from football at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the tribunal said.

Platini appeals ban at world sports tribunal
Photo: Michael Buholzer/AFP

The French football legend and former FIFA leader Sepp Blatter were banned for six years each over a two million dollar payment made by FIFA to Platini.

The ban against the two football powerbrokers was reduced from eight years by FIFA appeal committee on February 24th. But Platini, 60, has said he wants to fight the ban further.

“In appealing to the CAS, Michel Platini seeks to annul the decisions taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the FIFA ethics committee and by the FIFA appeal committee which lead to him being declared ineligible to take part in football-related activity at national and international level for six years,” said a CAS statement.

“A CAS arbitration procedure is in progress. “First, the parties will exchange written submissions and a panel of three arbitrators will be constituted.”

The panel will consider a verdict after a hearing in Lausanne.

“In theory we have four months for a verdict, but Michel Platini has asked us for a decision before the start of Euro 2016 so we will adapt to the request of the parties,” CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb said.

Platini was a key figure behind staging the European Championships in his native country and is desperate to be present when it starts in Paris on June 10th.

Platini and Blatter were found guilty of conflicts of interest when Blatter approved a two million Swiss franc ($2 million/1.8 million euro) payment to Platini in 2011 for consultancy work done without a contract a decade earlier.

Platini had been favourite to take over from Blatter but the ban demolished his hopes.

Platini's deputy at UEFA, Gianni Infantino, won the election for the FIFA presidency on Friday. Platini hopes to keep his post at UEFA if he can win his appeal.

FOOTBALL

Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland

Three former German football officials and ex-FIFA Secretary General Urs Linsi went on trial on Monday in Switzerland over suspicions that Germany bought votes to obtain the 2006 World Cup.

Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The three defendants have indicated that they will not be present at the hearing in Bellinzona for a variety of reasons, including fear of travelling because of coronavirus contagion.

Swiss Linsi, 70, former German Football Association (DFB) presidents Wolfgang Niersbach, 69, and Theo Zwanziger, 74, and 78-year-old former DFB General Secretary Horst R. Schmidt are being prosecuted for “fraud”.

They are accused by the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office (BA) of concealing from the DFB the true destination of a transfer of 6.7 million euros ($7.6 million today), paid in 2005 by the organising committee to former Adidas boss, the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, via FIFA.

The case of former World Cup organising committee chairman Franz Beckenbauer is being heard separately because of the former Germany captain's poor health.

The investigation was prompted by a report in German publication Der Spiegel in 2015 that Germany had used a secret fund of 10 million Swiss francs (6.7 million euros at the time) to buy votes and obtain the rights to host the competition at the expense of South Africa.

Beckenbauer is suspected of having asked Louis-Dreyfus, to contribute to this fund shortly before the vote on the host in the summer of 2000.

Louis-Dreyfus was allegedly reimbursed by the German Football Association on the pretext of expenses related to a FIFA gala evening, which ever took place.

Zwanziger, Niersbach and Schmidt have also been charged with tax fraud in Germany and the case is expected to come to trial in the coming months. cpb/pb/td

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