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Sports court to rule on Michel Platini appeal against FIFA by Friday

Lausanne: Michel Platini's lawyers will appear at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Tuesday as part of an appeal against his suspension from FIFA, with a decision due by December 11, a CAS statement said. Platini, the head of European football governing body UEFA and a FIFA vice president, was suspended from all football activities in October for 90 days.

Michel Platini. Pic/AFP
Michel Platini. Pic/AFP

The ban by FIFA's ethics committee came after Platini was linked to a criminal probe by Swiss prosecutors. The sports court's statement said representatives of FIFA and Platini were invited to a preliminary hearing on Tuesday afternoon. The hearing will be "limited to the issue as to whether or not the provisional 90-day suspension imposed on Mr Platini should be temporarily lifted," the statement said.

"A decision on such a request for a stay is likely to be issued on Friday 11 December 2015, at the latest," it continued. But the 90-day suspension may prove to be the least of Platini's problems. FIFA's ethics investigators have asked the in-house court at world football's governing body to suspend the ex-Juventus star for life. Platini is due to give evidence in that case later this month, with a verdict due in the coming weeks.

While suspended, Platini has been unable to press ahead with his campaign to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA's president, while the other five confirmed contenders have been free to lobby for votes. In the Swiss criminal case, Platini has been questioned in a category that falls between a witness and an accused over a 1.8 million euros ($2 million) payment he received from FIFA in 2011, reportedly for work done a decade earlier.

The Frenchman denies all wrongdoing and his camp insists there is ample evidence to clear his name. Blatter, who is the target of the Swiss criminal probe, has also been suspended for 90 days, with stiffer punishment from FIFA's ethics committee also pending. Platini had been the favourite to succeed Blatter as FIFA's president at an election scheduled for February 26, but his chances have grown increasingly remote.

While the CAS appeal is focused narrowly on the validity of Platini's 90-day suspension, some believe that in calling for a lifetime ban, FIFA investigators may have uncovered further evidence against the UEFA boss.

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