Zurich - The fallen head of European football, Michel Platini, appeared at
FIFA's headquarters on Monday to appeal against his eight-year ban from
the sport over ethics violations.
"I am not fighting for my
future, but against injustice," the former French star told journalists
outside the Zurich headquarters of world football's governing body.
judges in December banned Platini from all football activities for
eight years over a $2 million he received from FIFA's disgraced president Sepp Blatter
At the initial hearing, FIFA's tribunal dismissed
explanations from Platini's lawyers that the payment - reportedly for
consulting work done a decade earlier - was part of a legitimate oral
contract between the Frenchman and Blatter.
Platini boycotted that
hearing, claiming judgement against him had been pre-determined, but he
appeared on Monday, vowing that if the evidence against him had been
credible, he would have stayed away.
"If I had anything to feel
guilty about, I would be in Siberia, hiding in shame," the ex-Juventus
great told journalists outside FIFA.
Platini had been Blatter's heir apparent and was the favourite to win a February 26 vote to become FIFA's next president.
following his December 21 ban from the game, Platini withdrew as a
candidate from FIFA's presidential race and said he planned to focus on
clearing his name.
The European football confederation UEFA said
it will not hold an election to choose Platini's successor until the
suspended president's appeals have been exhausted.
appeals committee offers Platini the first shot to overturn his ban, but
if that panel rules against him, he is expected to take his case to the
Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.
"We'll see what happens," he told reporters outside FIFA. "Maybe this is not over."
also banned from football for eight years over the notorious payment,
has an appeals committee hearing set for Tuesday.
The two men
have become the most high-profile casualties in a unprecedented,
wide-ranging scandal within world football that has seen dozens of
people charged with graft.
The saga has provoked endless
discussion about the complicated relationship between Blatter and
Platini, once the two most powerful men in football, who previously were
allies but later became rivals.
Platini on Monday seemed to dismiss suggestions that Blatter was responsible for his troubles.
it Blatter who put me in this situation? Not at all, because he is in
the same situation as me, but someone pushed the button (against me) and
I will try to find out who," he said.