Platini loses final appeal against football suspension

Switzerland's highest court has rejected former Uefa chief Michel Platini's appeal against a four-year suspension from football, ending his efforts to overturn the penalty, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Platini loses final appeal against football suspension
Michel Platini. Photo: Jean-Christophe Verhaegen
Platini, 61, “is obviously very disappointed”, his lawyer Vincent Solari told AFP in an email.
Platini was hit with the penalty over a $2 million payment he received in 2011, authorised by then Fifa chief Sepp Blatter for work he did a decade earlier, with no contract to show for the deal.
He was initially hit with an eight-year ban by the Fifa ethics committee in late 2015, at the height of an unprecedented scandal that upended world football, but his suspension was later cut to six years upon appeal.
Platini appealed his suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which in May 2016 chopped another two years off the suspension, and he took the case further to the Federal Court in Lausanne.
Switzerland's highest court ruled that the ban is justified and that four years was not an unreasonable length of time, ATS reported.
In theory, Platini can therefore resume football-linked activities in 2019.
His lawyer complained that the federal court had examined the case from “too narrow an angle”, and that Platini was “very disappointed that (the court therefore) failed to recognise that he acted in good faith”.
Blatter, who was also slapped with a six-year ban, and Platini were the most prominent casualties of the massive scandal that rocked the world of football, and which ended Platini's aspirations to take over the helm of Fifa.

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‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said.