Blatter to attend appeal hearing on 16 Feb

Blatter was banned in December from all football-related activity for eight years by the ethics committee.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter gestures during a press conference at the football’s world body headquarter’s on 20 July, 2015 in Zurich. Picture: AFP.

ZURICH - Disgraced FIFA president Sepp Blatter will return to the headquarters of football's governing body on Feb. 16 when his appeal against his ban from the sport will be heard, according to his advisor.

Blatter, head of football's scandal-plagued governing body since 1998, was banned in December from all football-related activity for eight years by the ethics committee of Fifa, mired in the worst graft scandal its 111-year history.

"Mr Blatter will attend an appeal hearing at on 16 February, at the home of Fifa, and we expect the decision as soon as possible," his advisor Thomas Renggli told Reuters.

Blatter's case will initially be dealt with by Fifa's own Appeal Committee. Renggli said that, if he is unsuccessful, he will go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

Blatter, 79, who has denied wrongdoing, was banned for ethics violations over a 2 million Swiss francs ($1.96 million) payment Fifa made to European football boss Michel Platini with Blatter's approval in 2011.

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 26 February.

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

The US investigation is far from over and Fifa also faces a parallel Swiss investigation.