The uefa president Michel Platini has lost his battle to have his ban overturned at the apex court for sports concerning the suspension imposed on him for breach of ethics code of the world federation football body FIFA.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport, in Lausanne, reduced Platini’s sentence from six years to four, but maintained the finding against him over charges arising out of an issue financial misconduct imposed by FIFA. His fine was similarly cut to SFr 60,000.
Although, the Frenchman had the right to appeal to the Swiss Federal Court, but he indicated in a statement that he considered CAS as his last practical option and that he would be stepping down as head of European football’s governing body.
Platini was suspended for eight years from all football activities by FIFA’s ethics committee last December over his acceptance of a SFr2m ‘disloyal payment’ from FIFA, on the authority of president Sepp Blatter.
The 60-year-old Frenchman and Blatter claimed the payment, made in 2011, was for work the Frenchman had undertaken for FIFA nine years earlier by a verbal agreement.
However, the CAS panel said it was “not convinced by the legitimacy of the payment which was not contained on any document established at the time of the contractual relations and did not correlate with the alleged unpaid part of his salary.”
The CAS statement added that Platini “benefited from the extension of a pension plan to which he was not entitled” and that his “behaviour was not ethical or loyal.”
The suspension, cut first to six years by FIFA’s own appeal committee, prevented Platini from standing for the FIFA presidency in succession to Blatter who was duly succeeded instead as the head of world football by Gianni Infantino, who had been Platini’s general secretary at UEFA.
Platini, still seeking to clear his name and return to the UEFA leadership, duly appealed to CAS, protesting his innocence of charges which he considered to have politically motivated.
Witnesses called at an eight-hour hearing included Blatter, the Spanish vice-president of FIFA and UEFA Angel Maria Villar as well as Jacques Lambert, French head of the Euro 2016 organising committee and an old friend and colleague of Platini.