Blatter to attend appeal hearing Feb. 16


FIFA president Sepp Blatter will return to football’s governing body headquarters on Feb. 16 when his appeal against his ban from the sport will be heard, his advisor says.

Blatter was banned in December from all football-related activities for eight years by the ethics committee of FIFA, which is mired in the worst graft scandal of its 111-year history.

“Blatter will attend an appeal hearing on Feb. 16, at the home of FIFA.

“We expect the decision as soon as possible,” his advisor, Thomas Renggli, told the media on Friday.

Blatter’s case will initially be dealt with by FIFA’s Appeals Committee.

Renggli said if Blatter who was head of the governing body since 1998 was unsuccessful, he would go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

Blatter, 79, was banned for ethics violations over a two million Swiss francs (about 1.96 million dollars) payment FIFA made to UEFA president Michel Platini with Blatter’s approval in 2011.

He has however denied any wrongdoing.

Platini, who had been the favourite to succeed Blatter, was also banned for eight years.

The election for the new FIFA president will take place in Zurich on Feb.26.

A total of 41 individuals and entities, including many former FIFA officials, have been charged with corruption-related offences in the U.S. as part of the wider scandal.

The U.S. investigation is far from over and FIFA also faces a parallel Swiss investigation.(Reuters)