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Blatter, Platini to appeal FIFA bans

 Sepp Blatter is to challenge his eight year ban from his FIFA role. PHOTO/AFP
Sepp Blatter is to challenge his eight year ban from his FIFA role. PHOTO/AFP

GENEVA, December 21- Sepp Blatter and French football legend Michel Platini said they will go to sports and civil courts in a bid to overturn eight year bans ordered by FIFA.

Blatter will appeal against a FIFA ruling banning him from football for eight years to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), his spokesman said on Monday.

Platini said in a statement sent to AFP that the FIFA decision was a “masquerade” intended to “sully” his name.

“I can confirm this, yes,” Blatter spokesman Klaus Stoelker told AFP when asked if the long-serving FIFA president would launch an appeal at the Lausanne-based court.

FIFA’s ethics court suspended Blatter, 79, and FIFA vice president Platini, 60, for eight years over a 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million/1.8 million euros) payment that Blatter authorised to Platini.

Swiss prosecutors say it was a “disloyal payment” and have placed veteran football powerbroker Blatter under investigation.

Platini has been questioned in the Swiss case in a category that falls between a witness and an accused.

Swiss attorney general spokeswoman Nathalie Guth told AFP in an email that prosecutors were “aware of the FIFA decision”.

She added that the verdict “would not influence the criminal proceedings” being carried out by the attorney general.

Regarding Blatter’s prospective CAS challenge, a spokesman for FIFA’s ethics prosecutors, Andreas Bantel, said he first needed to read the motivation of such an appeal before commenting.

“Parallel to going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, I am determined to apply, at the right time, to civil courts to obtain damages for all the prejudice I have suffered over very long weeks,” Platini said.

“This decision does not surprise me,” Platini said.

“I am convinced that my fate was sealed before the hearing of December 18 and that this verdict is just a pathetic coverup for a desire to eliminate me from the world of football.

“On the football field and in the exercise of my mandates, my behaviour has always been irreproachable and I am at ease with my conscience,” the former star player said.