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Aug 25, 3:45 AM EDT

Blatter says he will accept verdict as CAS appeal begins

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter says he will accept the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in his appeal against his six-year ban from football's governing body, with the hearing beginning Thursday.

Both Blatter and Michel Platini, the former head of European football's governing body UEFA, were banned for a $2 million payment to Platini that Blatter approved, claiming it was money owed for consultancy work.

Arriving at the hearing, Blatter said he hoped the CAS panel "will understand that the payment made to Platini was really a debt that we had against him, and this is a principle, if you have debts you pay them."

He added he "will accept the verdict. I do hope it will be positive for me."

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