Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter says he is optimistic ahead of his CAS appeal hearing over a ban from soccer.
SHOWS: LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (AUGUST 25, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER FIFA PRESIDENT, SEPP BLATTER, SAYING: "I'm very confident that we can go forward. I am very happy that I have the possibility to be in the Tribunal Arbitral du Sport, it's an institution that, we at FIFA, we were also in favour of this, let's say, of this tribunal and I am going to defend the situation and I'm sure at the end, or perhaps, I will say sure, that the panel will understand that the payment made to Platini was really a debt that we had against him and this is a principal, if you have debts you pay them. But as I have explained to your colleague in the French language, we are on a football game, finally and in a football game, you have a situation where the referee is whistling and then one player says "I have done nothing", the other (player) says the same, and then the referee has to decide. It's the same here, today, and as I am (was) a footballer for years, I will accept the verdict, I do hope it will be positive for me, but we are footballers, we learn to win, but also we learn to lose and it will not be the end of the world, thank you." STORY: Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday (August 25) he was optimistic ahead of his CAS appeal hearing over a ban from soccer. Blatter and Michel Platini, president of European football's governing body UEFA, were banned over a payment of two million Swiss francs (1.47 million pounds) made by FIFA to the Frenchman in 2011 and said to be for work done a decade earlier. Both men have denied any wrongdoing. They said the payment honoured a verbal or gentleman's agreement made in 1998 for work carried out by the Frenchman when he was a technical adviser to Blatter. Blatter worked at FIFA for 41 years after originally joining as Technical Director in 1975. He served as Secretary General from 1981 until he succeeded Joao Havelange as president in 1998. He resigned after U.S. and Swiss authorities arrested soccer officials, including some from FIFA, on corruption charges. Blatter was banned for eight years by FIFA's ethics committee, but that was later reduced to six. FIFA is attempting to recover from the worst graft scandal in its history in which 42 people, including former FIFA executive committee members and entities have been indicted in the United States. Gianni Infantino was elected as president in February and promised to lead the FIFA into calmer waters.