FIFA Scandal: Platini "I Hope I Have Been Understood"

(ATR) Michel Platini appeared cautiously optimistic about having his 90-day ban lifted and continuing his FIFA presidential campaign.

(ATR) Michel Platini appeared cautiously optimistic about having his 90-day ban lifted and continuing his FIFA presidential campaign.

"I don’t know, I don’t know. It depends on time," a smiling Platini told Around the Rings as he prepared to drive away from the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne on Tuesday evening.

"I hate injustice and I hope I have been understood. My lawyers were very good," the suspended UEFA president told a group of reporters outside the headquarters of sport’s highest court.

Platini’s comments came after a two-hour CAS hearing in front of three arbitrators. He is seeking to lift the provisional FIFA ban handed down in October while FIFA’s ethics committee probes allegations of financial misconduct. Platini faces a possible lifetime ban from football after accepting a "disloyal payment" from FIFA in 2011, an oral agreement with Sepp Blatter, for consultancy work he did for the FIFA chief between 1998 and 2002.

The Frenchman was accompanied by two lawyers at the hearing. FIFA also sent a two-man legal team.

Entering the CAS building at 2pm, he expressed confidence that his ban would be lifted. "I will tell the truth, all the truth, only the truth, I swear."

Platini was named as a FIFA presidential candidate in October, but not included in the group of five who subsequently passed integrity checks. His remarks today about resuming his FIFA campaign will hinge on the CAS ruling, which is expected on Thursday or Friday, followed by a review of his presidential candidacy by the FIFA electoral committee, including an integrity check. This could happen early next week.

Platini also faces a FIFA ethics committee hearing at the end of next week in Zurich about the allegations of financial wrongdoing that he denies. He will attend with his team of lawyers.

Matthieu Reeb, secretary general of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, told reporters Tuesday that the CAS arbitration panel would this week determine if Platini’s provisional FIFA ban could be overturned based on three criteria.

"The goal is for the panel to determine whether there is a risk of irreparable harm for Mr Platini," Reeb said.

Secondly, he added, "whether there is a plausible chance of success at the end of the case, a criterion largely followed by the panel".

The third criterion is focused on ‘balance of interests’ – "whether the interests of FIFA prevail over the interests of Platini. Or the contrary."

"That is the three-pronged test," Reeb said.

He underlined the importance of the ‘balance of interests’ point, saying he had expected "quite a discussion regarding the legal arguments… probably this an important part of the discussion today".

Following the disciplinary hearings next week, FIFA's ethics judge Hans Joachim-Eckert aims to deliver verdicts on Platini and Blatter in the week before Christmas.

Reported and written in Lausanne by Mark Bisson

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