Blatter down to his last challenge

Updated: 2016-08-25 08:07

By Agence France-Presse in Geneva(China Daily)

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Blatter down to his last challenge

British comedian known as Lee Nelson (unseen) throws banknotes at FIFA President Sepp Blatter as he arrives for a news conference after the Extraordinary FIFA Executive Committee Meeting at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland July 20, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

Sepp Blatter will mount his final challenge against a six-year FIFA ban on Thursday, following more than a year of scandal that saw him thrown out of soccer in disgrace.

The former FIFA boss has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport seeking to overturn a suspension imposed by the sport's global sanctioning body.

"I'm very confident," the 80-year-old Blatter said, although his prospects for an outright victory appear to be remote.

The now infamous, endlessly debated case emerged in September of last year, when Swiss prosecutors said they were investigating Blatter over a dubious $2 million payment he authorized in 2011 to his one-time heir apparent, Michel Platini.

Those revelations initially triggered a provisional suspension by FIFA's ethics committee.

A full investigation and trial by FIFA's in-house court found Blatter and Platini both guilty of ethics violations.

They were banned from soccer for eight years in December.

A FIFA appeals committee cut those penalties to six years in February, just before Blatter's successor and fellow Swiss national, Gianni Infantino, was elected FIFA's new president.

Blatter's hopes for redemption at CAS are likely hampered by Platini's failed appeal at the Lausanne-based court.

In a May ruling, CAS judges said they were "not convinced" the $2 million payment was legitimate.

They did, however, reduce the suspension against the former French star and European soccer boss from six years to four, judging FIFA's penalty "too severe."

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