Sepp Blatter to attend appeal hearing

Lausanne - Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter will attend his February 16 appeal hearing against an eight-year ban from football, his spokesperson confirmed on Friday.

Blatter's appeal will be heard by FIFA's appeals commission just 10 days before the extraordinary congress in Zurich on February 26 when a vote will be held to appoint a new president of world football's governing body.

Blatter's hearing is scheduled 24 hours after that of fallen UEFA president Michel Platini, who is also appealing against his eight-year suspension.

Asked by AFP whether Blatter, 79, would attend the hearing in person, spokesman Klaus Stoehlker responded: "I confirm."

Both Blatter and Platini were banned for eight years on December 21 over a two million Swiss franc payment that Blatter authorised for Platini in 2011 for work done a decade earlier.

FIFA's ethics committee said it would appeal against the sentence saying it is too lenient.

Anti-corruption investigators had originally sought a life ban from all football activity against Blatter and Platini.

Depending on the FIFA judges' verdict, both men could take their respective cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, the highest tribunal in sports.

Blatter, who has headed FIFA since 1998, has spoken of his wish to preside at the upcoming presidential election, in which Platini was seen as the favourite to succeed the Swiss before the scandal erupted.

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