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Sports

CAS upholds six-year ban on former FIFA boss Blatter

Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter has lost his bid to get his six-year ban from all football-related activities overturned. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected his appeal against the ban.

A statement posted on the website of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday said it had dismissed Sepp Blatter's appeal and that his six-year ban from all football-related activities remained in force, as from October 8, 2015. It also said that he had to pay a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs (46,000 euros, $49.600)

FIFA initially banned its former president along with then-UEFA President Michel Platini, for a period of eight years over a "disloyal payment" of two million Swiss francs in 2011. The payment from FIFA to Platini was made nine years after consultancy work had carried out.

FIFA's appeals committee later reduced the suspension to six years, however Blatter, who has always maintained his innocence, then took the case to the CAS.

In its statement, the CAS said that it found that by approving the 2011 payment, Blatter had "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."

"The Panel determined that the sanction imposed was not disproportionate and therefore confirmed the Appealed Decision in full," it concluded.

Blatter disappointed

Shortly after the ruling was announced, Blatter expressed disappointment at the court's decision.

"I take note of the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The way the case progressed, no other verdict could be expected," Blatter said. "I have to accept this decision, although it is difficult to follow it, because the principle of jurisdiction - culpability has to be proven by prosecution - was not applied."

Like Blatter, Platini also had his eight-year ban reduced to six years by the FIFA appeals committee, but the CAS later reduced his ban to just four years. However, this still prevented him from pursuing his intention to run to become Blatter's successor as FIFA president.

No request for reduced penalty

Monday's statement did not explain why the CAS did not cut Blatter's ban to four years, as it did Platini's, but it did note that he had "requested the annulment of the ban but did not request a reduced penalty."

The 80-year-old Blatter joined FIFA in 1975, moving up the ranks to become its general secretary in 1981. He was first elected FIFA president in 1998, a post he held until the world governing body handed him a provisional 90-day suspension in October of last year.

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