Platini says done 'nothing wrong' as appeal hearing starts
By Cecile Mantovani
ZURICH (Reuters) - Banned UEFA President Michel Platini arrived on Monday at a hearing to appeal against his suspension from the sport and said he had done nothing wrong.
Platini was banned for eight years in December along with FIFA President Sepp Blatter over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2 million) made to the Frenchman in 2011 by FIFA with Blatter's approval for work done a decade earlier.
Former France captain Platini arrived at FIFA headquarters on foot from a nearby hotel.
"I've done nothing and I'm not afraid of anything," Platini, regarded as one of the finest players of his generation, told reporters outside the main gate.
Asked if he felt a sense of injustice, Platini replied: "Yes, it upset me a lot. Sixty years, when I never received a red card, not even on the field.
"Today, we have witnesses who are coming ... you'll see them arriving, I think."
The ethics committee, which imposed the bans on Blatter and Platini, said the payment, made at a time when the former was seeking re-election, lacked transparency and presented conflicts of interest. Both men denied wrongdoing.
The case is now being heard by FIFA's Appeal Committee.
Blatter has also appealed and his hearing will take place on Tuesday. If Platini and Blatter lose their appeals, they can still take their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
A FIFA spokesman said the organisation could not comment on when the decision on the case would be made.
Soccer's world ruling body is engulfed by a graft scandal that has led to the indictment of several dozen leading soccer officials in the United States.
(Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)