Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter in hospital, lawyer says
Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter is in the hospital but expects to be released shortly, his lawyer said Friday, according to Reuters.
“Because there have been media inquiries, I am announcing that President Blatter is in the hospital for a medical checkup. He is fine and expects to be home shortly,” Blatter's attorney Richard Cullen said in an email to Reuters.
Blatter's former public relations officer, Klaus Stoehlker, said the 79-year-old FIFA president has been dealing with stress. A spokesman for Blatter told ITV News that his condition is “nothing too serious” and that “he has just been under a great deal of pressure recently.”
The embattled FIFA president was suspended for 90 days by FIFA’s Ethics Committee on Oct. 8. Blatter’s suspension was prompted by a Swiss investigation of FIFA for criminal mismanagement of funds. The Swiss inquiry centers on a $2.1 million payment made by FIFA to UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011.
Both Blatter and Platini have maintained innocence.
The Swiss investigation followed the May indictments of 14 soccer officials by the U.S. Department of Justice just days ahead of Blatter's reelection as FIFA president. A few days after he won a fifth term, Blatter announced he would resign his position following a special election, which will take place in February.
Blatter, who has been the president of FIFA since 1998, filed an appeal of his suspension on Oct. 10 and is awaiting a hearing with the FIFA appeals committee.