Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Monday lost his appeal against a six-year ban from football at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The 80-year-old Swiss, who led FIFA for 17 years, was given a six-year ban by the world soccer governing body in December along with Michel Platini, then the president of the European soccer body Uefa.
The duo were banned by Fifa’s ethics committee over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs that Fifa made to Platini in 2011, with Blatter’s approval, for work done a decade earlier.
CAS said in a statement that its three-man panel had determined that Blatter “breached the FIFA code of ethics since the payment amounted to an undue gift as it had no contractual basis”.
“The Panel further found that Mr Blatter unlawfully awarded contributions to Mr Platini under the FIFA Executive Committee retirement scheme which also amounted to an undue gifts,” said CAS.
In its written verdict, CAS said Blatter “requested the annulment of the ban but did not request a reduced penalty”.
It added: “In any event, the panel determined that the sanction imposed was not disproportionate.”
Blatter said in a statement said he will accept the decision.
According to him, it is “difficult” to accept the ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but that “the way the case progressed, no other verdict could be expected.”
“I have experienced much in my 41 years in FIFA. I mostly learned that you can win in sport, but you can also lose.?
“Nevertheless I look back with gratitude to all the years, in which I was able to realize my ideals for football and serve FIFA.”
Fifa suspended Blatter and former France international Platini for eight years in December, but the bans were reduced to six years by its appeals committee.
In May, CAS reduced Platini’s ban to four years after he appealed.
Blatter and Platini have denied wrongdoing.