Report: FIFA suspends Sepp Blatter 90 days; lawyer denies
FIFA’s ethics committee has reportedly suspended president Sepp Blatter for 90 days, according to Paul Kelso of Sky News, who cites Blatter’s recent election adviser, Klaus Stoehlker.
A 90-day suspension is the maximum the committee is allowed to levy. The committee has yet to make an official announcement regarding any ban. Blatter's lawyer, Richard Cullen, released a statement on Wednesday denying that his client has received a suspension.
“Mr. Blatter has not been notified of any action by the ethics committee,” Cullen said, “and we would expect that he would have the opportunity to be heard before any decision could be made.”
Richard Conway of the BBC reported that FIFA’s ethics committee was meeting in Zurich on Wednesday to decide whether Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini should be suspended in light of recent corruption allegations.
Swiss authorities announced late last month that they were opening an investigation into Blatter for criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of FIFA money. Blatter is accused of intentionally mismanaging FIFA funds in order to make bribery payments, including a “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011 for work done between 1999 and 2002 that was disadvantageous to FIFA as a whole.
Platini, who is considered one of the top candidates to replace Blatter as FIFA president when the organization holds an election in February, is either a witness or a suspect in the Blatter investigation, according to the Swiss attorney general.
Last week, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and more of FIFA’s largest sponsors called for Blatter to step down immediately. Blatter refused to resign and said he intends to remain president until the February election.
- Dan Gartland