The former head of European football, Michel Platini, arrived at the world’s top sports court on Thursday to testify at Sepp Blatter’s last-chance appeal against his FIFA ban.
“I came to tell the truth, for the umpteenth time,” Platini told reporters outside the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The former French international is the key figure in the scandal that brought down Blatter, which has been the subject of extensive debate, including in FIFA’s ethics committee.
Platini was on the receiving end of the suspect 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million, 1.8 million euros) payment that Blatter authorised in 2011.
FIFA has said the payment amounted to an ethics violation and has suspended both men for six years.
Blatter and Platini insist it was a legitimate payment for an unpaid balance that FIFA owed the UEFA boss for consulting work done a decade earlier.
Platini lost his CAS appeal against his own FIFA ban earlier this year, at which Blatter also testified, but the court cut his suspension to four years.
On Thursday, the Frenchman suggested Blatter’s fate may already be sealed.
“I’m not sure if a decision hasn’t already been made, even before” the hearing, the 61-year-old said.
He walked out shortly after entering, but explained his audience had been delayed and that he was asked return.
Blatter entered the courthouse shortly past 8:00 am (0600 GMT) for the hearing which is expected to last one day.