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-Soccer- Platini Appears Before Top Tribunal to Appeal Six-Year Ban | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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UEFA acting president Angel Maria Villar arrives to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the appleal of Michel Platini’s against his six-year FIFA ban for ethics violations on April 29, 2016 in Lausanne.

AUSANNE- UEFA President Michel Platini, currently suspended, appeared before sport’s highest tribunal to appeal against his six-year ban from soccer on Friday, where the latter stated that he had high hopes that he would win his case, with FIFA ex-president Sepp Blatter among the witnesses.

Platini is optimistic that the ban will be upturned in time for the Euro 2016 tournament, which will be held in his native France in June and July. Further, CAS stated a decision could even be made as early as next week, depending on how the closed, day-long hearing progresses.

Platini added that today, they’re at the beginning of the game, a new game, in the final and he made it clear that he hopes the outcome will be good as he told reporters “Of course, I am optimistic that we are going to win”.

Platini was banned for eight years in December along with Blatter over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.08 million) made to the Frenchman by FIFA with Blatter’s approval in 2011 for work done a decade earlier.

Both men denied wrongdoing and had their bans reduced to six years by FIFA’s Appeal Committee in February.CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb said that Blatter, FIFA and UEFA vice-president Angel Maria Villar, and Jacques Lambert, head of the Euro 2016 organising committee, would give evidence. “We don’t know exactly when the final decision will be rendered, hopefully it could be early next week or a little later depending on what the parties today tell us,” Reeb told reporters.

UEFA will hold its annual Congress in Budapest on Tuesday but Reeb could not say whether the decision would come before it opens. “Probably I will know about that later today,” he said.

Blatter, whose own appeal will be heard separately at a later date, arrived three hours later for his testimony and said only, “I am a witness in the case of Mr Platini today and I will answer the question as a witness, thank you for your interest.”