Suspended UEFA president Michel Platini yesterday appeared before sport’s highest tribunal to appeal against his six-year ban from soccer and said he was optimistic he would win his case, with FIFA ex-president Sepp Blatter among the witnesses.
Platini, who arrived in a taxi for the hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), is hoping that the ban will be overturned in time for the Euro 2016 tournament, which will be held in France in June and July.
CAS said a decision could even be made as early as next week, depending on how the closed, day-long hearing progresses.
“Today, we’re at the beginning of the game, a new game, in the final... I hope the outcome will be good,” said Platini, who was the favorite to succeed Blatter as president of soccer’s global governing body FIFA before he was banned.
“Of course, I am optimistic that we are going to win,” he told reporters, smiling and appearing relaxed.
Platini was banned for eight years in December last year along with Blatter over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs (US$2.08 million) made to the Frenchman by FIFA with Blatter’s approval in 2011 for work done a decade earlier.
Both men denied wrongdoing and had their bans reduced to six years by FIFA’s Appeal Committee in February.
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