Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sepp Blatter Faces 90-Day Suspension From FIFA


 ZURICH -- FIFA president Sepp Blatter faces an imminent 90 day suspension from football if the governing body's ethics judge backs a prosecutor's recommendation, a close friend and former advisor to Blatter told Reuters on Wednesday.


Blatter's long-term confidant Klaus Stoehlker said the decision by judge Hans-Joachim Eckert on the provisional suspension was expected by Friday.


"There is no final decision, this is a recommendation from the lower part of the Ethics Committee to the upper part," said Stoehlker, who added that Blatter had been informed of the development.


"President Blatter will be in his office at FIFA tomorrow," he said.


A FIFA spokesperson directed inquiries to Blatter's U.S lawyers who did not respond to requests for comment.


A spokesman for Eckert declined to comment. The Investigatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee was not immediately available for comment.


If Blatter is suspended then under FIFA's statutes the most senior vice-president, currently African football head Issa Hayatou from Cameroon, would become the interim president.



 FIFA is already without its secretary general Jerome Valcke who was suspended last month after allegations he was involved in a scheme to sell 2014 World Cup tickets at a marked-up price. Valcke denied the charges.


Blatter stated in June that he would stand down after an election to choose his replacement on February 26.


The 79-year-old Swiss has been president of FIFA since 1998 and has worked for the organization for 40 years, starting as a technical director before becoming secretary general under former president Joao Havelange.


Swiss prosecutors last month opened a criminal investigation into Blatter over a Caribbean World Cup TV rights contract he signed, and a 2011 payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.1 million) to Platini, whose status the Swiss attorney general has described as being between a witness and an accused person.


Both have denied any wrongdoing.


Media reports have suggested that Platini is also being investigated by the Ethics Committee.


Bound by confidentiality rules, FIFA's Ethics Committee have not commented on whether Platini is under investigation.


Platini's spokesman declined to comment.


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