I’ll be back, says Sepp Blatter

Fifa’s ethics committee has banned Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini from all football activities for 8 years.

FILE: Sepp Blatter. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Disgraced Fifa President Sepp Blatter has ended a media briefing following his eight year ban with the words "I'll be back".

Fifa's ethics committee has banned Blatter along with UEFA President Michel Platini from all football activities for eight years, but Blatter plans to appeal the ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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The sanctions relate to an irregular payment of two million Swiss francs from Fifa to Platini in 2011.

Blatter says he does not accept his ban because a payment he made to Platini was legal.

During a media briefing a short while ago, Blatter said he was surprised the ethics committee did not acknowledge the legitimacy of the payment.

"What astonishes me now, when I go into this decision of the adjudicatory chamber today, is that they deny the existence of such an agreement."

Blatter says he will fight against the decision by the ethics committee to ban him from all football activity because he doesn't understand why he's being banned.

The 79-year-old says he's not only fighting for himself.

"I will fight; I will fight for me and I will fight for Fifa. Suspended for eight years for what? They spoke with my lawyer who definitely was not surprised that the notification of the decision was first made to the media."

Blatter also says he will appeal his ban with at the court of arbitration for sport.

Blatter's hearing lasted eight hours and he appeared before the committee's adjudicatory chamber with his lawyer, who presented evidence which they believed would clear him of allegations of misconduct.

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Along with their bans, Blatter and Platini have also been fined 50,000 and 80,000 Swiss francs, respectively.

During the media briefing, Blatter said he only found out about his ban after it was released to the media.

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The eight-year bans have effectively brought Blatter's 40 year involvement with the football governing body to an end, while Platini will no longer be able to run for presidency at next year's extraordinary congress in Zurich.

The committee's adjudicatory chamber found that there was no legal basis for the payment of two million Swiss francs to Platini and that Blatter's assertion of an oral agreement was unconvincing.

In the Uefa president's case, Fifa found that he could not provide sufficient evidence to prove that the payment was for an official act in compliance with the organisation's regulations.

Blatter still faces a criminal charge, lodged by Swiss authorities in October.

The football bosses were provisionally suspended for 90 days, with the Fifa Ethics Committee later recommending they be banned from football for life.

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Meanwhile, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa from Bahrain was made the favourite to become Fifa's new president in February's election by bookmaker William Hill on Monday following the eight-year ban on Platini.

Sheikh Salman, the president of the Asian Football Confederation, is 6-5, ahead of second favourite Prince Ali bin al-Hussein from Jordan at 13-8, with UEFA's general secretary Gianni Infantino 5-2.

Jerome Champagne was a 20-1 outsider with South African Tokyo Sexwale at 25-1.