Sepp Blatter maintains his innocence

Blatter made the statement after an appeal hearing on Tuesday, into his eight-year ban from football.

Sepp Blatter. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter maintains he is innocent of charges, relating to a disloyal payment made to Michel Platini.

Blatter made the statement after an appeal hearing on Tuesday, into his eight-year ban from football.

Both Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini have been banned for eight years by Fifa for breaching the association's code of ethics.

A payment of two million Swiss francs to Platini, authorised by Sepp Blatter, is the focus although both men deny the allegation.

Blatter and Platini are accused of breaching Fifa's code of ethics in relation to the offering and accepting of gifts and other benefits.

Speaking to Goal.com, Blatter said: "I am the first to be disappointed in this corruption case. But I consider myself responsible for everything. It's too easy to say that. I cannot be the moral conscience of confederations."

The former president maintains his deal with Platini was legal.

When asked why he is fighting his charges, Blatter responded, "This is not to reduce the penalty. I fight for my reputation and also for Fifa. I want to save Fifa."