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Platini ‘Happy’ After Marathon Hearing At FIFA

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The fallen head of European football, Michel Platini said he was “happy” following his marathon hearing before FIFA’s appeals committee on Monday, February 15 where he protested against the “injustice” of his eight-year ban from the sport for ethics violations, AFP reports.

Platini’s hearing will be followed on Tuesday by that of suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was also hit with an eight-year ban.

“It was a good hearing, well led by sincere people. I was heard by people who are part of the football family. Now we’ll see how it goes,” he told journalists.

Platini, accompanied by his lawyer Thibaud D’Ales, presented his two witnesses — Frenchman Jacques Lambert, the president of the Euro-2016 organising committee, and Spaniard Angel Maria Villar Llona, a UEFA vice-president — to prove the existence of the famous oral contract agreed between himself and Blatter, AFP says.

Both men were banned by FIFA’s ethics committee in December after being found guilty of breaches surrounding a mysterious 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million, 1.8 million euros) payment Platini received from Blatter in 2011. “I am not fighting for my future, but against injustice,” Platini said.

“If I had anything to feel guilty about, I would be in Siberia, hiding in shame,” added Platini, also a former FIFA vice president. “I’m very well. There are worse things in life.”

Blatter, FIFA’s disgraced president who turns 80 in March, was also banned over the payment and his appeal hearing is set for Tuesday.

If the appeals panel rules against them, both are expected to take their case the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

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