Blatter speaks out after Fifa's 8-year ban

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have been banned for eight years from all football-related activities.

FILE: Sepp Blatter. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Disgraced Fifa President Sepp Blatter has publicly responded to an eight-year ban handed down for financial misconduct.

Blatter says he will appeal the ban in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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

"What astonished me now, if I go into the decision of this adjudicatory chamber today, is they've denied the existence of such an agreement."

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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 the 79-year-old of allegations of misconduct.

Uefa President Michel Platini was also handed an eight-year ban from all football activities by the Fifa Ethics Committee this morning.

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

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

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

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.