By Brian Homewood
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has lost his appeal against a six-year ban for ethics violations, imposed amid the biggest corruption scandal to shake the world soccer body, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Monday.
Blatter led FIFA for 17 years, resigning in June last year after several dozen football officials, including former FIFA executive committee members, and entities were indicted in the United States on graft charges.
Blatter, 80, was not among those indicted but himself became embroiled in scandal when he was banned from all football-related activity the following December by FIFA’s ethics committee, along with Michel Platini, then the president of the European soccer body UEFA.
The men were banned over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($1.98 million) that FIFA made to Platini in 2011, with Blatter’s approval, for work done a decade earlier.
CAS said in a statement that its panel had determined that Blatter “breached the FIFA code of ethics since the payment amounted to an undue gift as it had no contractual basis”.
“The Panel further found that Mr Blatter unlawfully awarded contributions to Mr Platini under the FIFA Executive Committee retirement scheme which also amounted to an undue gift.”
Blatter and Platini have denied wrongdoing.
($1 = 1.0093 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Brian Homewood and Joshua Franklin; Editing by Kevin Liffey)