Sepp Blatter files appeal of FIFA suspension
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has filed an appeal against his suspension handed down by the FIFA ethics committee on Thursday, Reuters reports.
FIFA announced Thursday it was suspending Blatter, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and UEFA president Michel Platini for 90 days each. Chung Mong-joon, a former FIFA vice president and current presidential candidate, has been banned for six years. FIFA said the decision to extend the provisional bans stemmed from ongoing investigations by the FIFA ethics committee.
Blatter, who has been fighting calls for his immediate resignation from FIFA sponsors such as Coca-Cola, is appealing the suspension in order to stay in office until the special election for a new FIFA president in February.
“He has appealed. He wants to go on until the congress on Feb. 26 and he is not giving up early,” Klaus Stoehlker, Blatter’s former public relations adviser, told Reuters.
The FIFA appeals committee will hear Blatter’s appeal, but the suspension will remain in place until then.
The New York Times reported that in his appeal, Blatter objected to what he felt was unfair treatment, and has requested to be provided with the full reasoning for his suspension. The appeal also notes that Blatter was not informed of the suspension until it was publicized.
Blatter’s lawyers are demanding a hearing after releasing a statement on Thursday saying the ethics committee did not follow procedure in handing down his ban by failing to allow him a hearing. However, the FIFA code of ethics states that the committee chairman has the right to make decisions based on available evidence, and is not required to call a hearing.
Blatter is under investigation by Swiss authorities for criminal mismanagement of FIFA funds. But because Blatter has not been charged with a crime, his lawyers feel his suspension is unfair.
Chung has said he plans to bring a case regarding his ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport next week, reports Richard Conway of BBC. Chung also plans to bring legal action against the ethics committee for damaging his reputation, and to follow through with his plan to sue Blatter for embezzlement.
“FIFA is like the sinking Titanic,” Chung said in a statement. “If there are those within FIFA who continue to look out for their own selfish interests while hastening FIFA’s downfall, history will judge them harshly, along with president Blatter who has morally bankrupted FIFA.”
- Erin Flynn