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Football: Blatter vows to clear name in CAS appeal
[BERLIN] Ahead of his 80th birthday on Thursday, disgraced former Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said his priority now is clearing his name at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"I'm preparing the appeal to CAS against my suspension - that's very important to me," the Swiss told SID, an AFP subsidiary.
"One can not just let things stand as they are. The truth must be told and justice will be given to those who have it on their side." Blatter hopes to have his six-year ban from all football activities overturned by CAS when his appeal is heard in the coming months.
Last week, the Swiss was replaced by Gianni Infantino as the head of world football's governing body Fifa, ending his 18-year reign.
In October, Blatter and fallen UEFA president Michel Platini were suspended over a two million dollar payment made by Fifa to Platini.
The pair were then slapped with eight-year bans by a Fifa ethics court in December, a suspension that was reduced to six years last week by the appeals panel, but Blatter is determined to clear his name through CAS and says he has truth on his side.
The Swiss says he has no new evidence to support his appeal.
"I have nothing else up my sleeve. Neither Michel Platini nor I are liars, although we have been painted as such. And that is what we certainly are not," he said.
"We are people who have done a great deal of things and when you have done a lot, mistakes can happen.
"But in any case, with regards to finances, one can't, and could never, accuse me of something.
"I can't be accused of having done something wrong with money.
"Both Fifa committees have said: it was not corruption. And the bans were reduced - what does that mean?
"That means that the appeal committee wasn't sure whether what I have been accused of is true.
"I am convinced that everything will take care of itself in two months time." Blatter says he will not return to Fifa, even if he is cleared.
"I will not return to organised football, but when someone has spent 41 years of his life in football, you can't just give it up," he said.
"Football is far too important for me.
"I will watch football and accept invitations that are sent to me." Having been relieved of his Fifa duties, Blatter said he is ready to answer questions in the on-going Swiss and German investigation into Germany's 2006 World Cup bid following allegations that votes were bought.
"I was asked during the investigation, but I was suspended as the elected president, that's why I decided not to comment then," he said.
"If they come to me now and ask questions, I will give answers." Meanwhile, Blatter's former salary as head of Fifa could be disclosed later this month in the body's financial report.
Blatter has never revealed his salary, with some sources estimating he received between 5 and 10 million Swiss francs (US$5.03 million-US$10.06 million) per year, but the figure should be included in the governing body's financial report for 2015.
Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term as president of world football's governing body last May, but days later he called for a fresh election because he did not feel he had "a mandate from the entire world of football".