Clock ticking as Platini lodges CAS appeal

Paris, November 20

In a last ditch bid to overturn a 90-day ban and thereby run for the FIFA presidency Michel Platini lodged an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), his lawyers said on Friday.

The move comes after a FIFA appeal committee on Wednesday rejected the French UEFA supremo’s joint bid with Sepp Blatter to overturn their suspensions which run until January 5 while Swiss police pursue a criminal investigation. “Michel Platini’s appeal to the CAS has been lodged,” the former Juventus star’s lawyers confirmed on Friday.

One of the lawyers, Thibaud d’Ales, said he expected a CAS decision by the end of November. Part of the FIFA ethics committee inquiry is into a two million dollar payment made by FIFA to Platini in 2011 for work he had carried out a decade earlier.

The suspension has been a severe blow to Platini’s hopes of winning a FIFA presidential election in Zurich on February 26 when Blatter stands down after 17 years in the post. The ban from all football-related activity means that the Frenchman cannot campaign in the presidential race against the five confirmed candidates, who have already passed required integrity tests.

The 60-year-old enjoys some powerful support in his bid, but the suspension has blown the FIFA race wide open. In contention are Asian football chief Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, former FIFA vice president Prince Ali Al Hussein, former FIFA official Jerome Champagne, South African anti-apartheid campaigner Tokyo Sexwale and UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, who has indicated he would stand aside if his UEFA boss Platini is admitted to the election.