Blatter accepts ban for FIFA misconduct after losing appeal

“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, who still uses his FIFA limousine, and Platini have now both had all appeals rejected by FIFA’s ethics court and CAS. Blatter’s suspension has been reduced from eight years to six and Platini from eight to four years.

French football legend Platini has taken a case to the Swiss courts and Blatter could have done the same. But the civil courts are reluctant to get involved in international disputes, according to experts, and Blatter has decided against that option.

FIFA and UEFA meanwhile have launched campaigns to cleanse their tainted images under new leaders who have promised reform.

FIFA is now led by Gianni Infantino who has embarked on major changes at the world football body including replacing many staff employed in the Blatter era.

FIFA said only that it had “taken note” of the CAS verdict. 

Aleksander Ceferin has taken over at UEFA also promising a new era of transparency.

The air of corruption has not completely cleared however.

More details of the commercial underbelly of sport are expected when US courts start sentencing 39 football and marketing officials accused of involvement in more than $200 million of bribes for television and other commercial contracts.

Blatter’s air of invincibility ended when Swiss police raided a Zurich hotel in May 2015 to detain seven FIFA officials who are now among the defendants in the United States. The arrests came on the eve of his reelection as FIFA president and he was suspended months later.

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