Banned Platini braced for appeal decision
The FIFA vice-president appeared before CAS judges on Wednesday with his lawyers to plead the case for him to be allowed to return so that he can take part in FIFA’s election campaign for a new president.
Platini has been named in a Swiss criminal investigation into FIFA leader Sepp Blatter. Platini received a two million Swiss franc ($2 million) payment from FIFA which is under investigation.
The two acknowledge there was no contract for the fee, but insist that their “oral contract” is valid under Swiss law and deny any wrongdoing.
Platini’s lawyers say FIFA’s ethics watchdog wants him banned for life.
A CAS statement said that on Thursday “the CAS Panel in charge of the arbitration heard the parties’ arguments regarding the temporary lifting of Mr Platini’s provisional 90-day suspension. The CAS intends to announce the Panel’s decision at around 10.00am (Central European Time) on Friday.”
Blatter, 79, and Platini, 60, will appear next week before FIFA’s adjudicatory chamber which must decide whether they should face a definitive punishment.
Blatter’s case will be heard on December 17 and Platini the following day.
The FIFA court has not said when a decision will be announced.
If CAS lifts Platini’s suspension, imposed on October 8, the Frenchman would be free to take part in Saturday’s draw for the 2016 European Championships which France is hosting.
That at least would be a symbolic victory for a man with a possible life ban still hovering over him.
“I will say nothing more than I have already told you: the truth, all the truth and nothing but the truth,” Platini told reporters with a half smile before entering the tribunal earlier this week.
Platini’s suspension is due to expire on January 5 and his sidelining has meant his rivals to succeed Blatter in the February 26 election have been able to press ahead with their campaigning to lead the scandal-plagued body.
Other contenders are Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al Hussein, Platini’s right-hand man at UEFA, Gianni Infantino, Asian football head Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa of Bahrain, Jerome Champagne, a former assistant general secretary of FIFA, and South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale.
Platini’s lawyers were giving nothing away after setting out their case at CAS.
“Mr. Platini was heard,” Thibaud d’Ales told AFP.
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