On August 25, Sepp Blatter, the disreputed former president of FIFA will appear before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to challenge a six-year ban by the soccer’s international governing body for corruption and mismanagement. After serving as FIFA president for 17 years, Blatter was banned for approving a $2 million payment to Michel Platini, the former soccer player and president of UEFA, the European soccer administration.
Blatter stepped down from his post in June 2015 following indictments of several current and former FIFA officials along with various marketing companies for bribery and money laundering. The announcement came just days after he was elected for an unprecedented fifth term, claiming he would lead reform within the organization after a great deal of negative press and a dramatic arrest of FIFA officials in Zurich in May.
Based on the revised sentences, Blatter and Platini will be eligible to rejoin the world of elite soccer in October of 2021, making it possible for both to return for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Subsequent investigations into corruption allegations within soccer’s governing body led to Blatter’s ban.
The disgraced exec has also had criminal charges brought against him by the Swiss Attorney General’s office for “criminal mismanagement… and misappropriation.” The Swiss AG is continuing to examine the decision process for naming World Cup hosts (including Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022), which have since come under scrutiny, including accusations of accepting millions of dollars in bribes.
Federal prosecutors in the U.S. have also announced criminal charges—including money laundering, wire fraud, and racketeering—for over a dozen FIFA officials, claiming the administrators were part of a decades-long scheme to accumulate personal wealth.
In an interview with CNN in April 2016, Blatter claimed that he “never took bribes. Never.”
“This is the principle I have in my life from my father,” he told reporters, “never take money you have not earned.”
In the same interview, Blatter also claimed he could “understand that the Americans are not always happy with what's happened somewhere in the world because they try to be the police of the world everywhere,” but he “couldn't understand that the Swiss authorities had agreed."