Sepp Blatter appears before FIFA ethics committee

FIFA president Sepp Blatter appeared before FIFA’s ethics committee on Thursday.
Publish date:

Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter appeared before the organization’s ethics committee on Thursday to present a defense with regard to allegations surrounding his role in FIFA’s ongoing corruption scandal.

Blatter’s lawyers issued a statement after the hearing, which reportedly lasted eight hours, stating that “the evidence demonstrates that President Blatter behaved properly and certainly did not violate FIFA’s Code of Ethics.” They called for the investigation to be closed, and Blatter’s suspension to be lifted.

Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini were given 90-day bans in October, as a result of an ongoing investigation by the ethics committee into alleged mismanagement of FIFA funds, centering on a $2 million payment Blatter made to Platini in 2011. The ban has prevented Platini, currently suspended from his post, from campaigning to replace Blatter as FIFA’s president in a special election to be held Feb. 26.

Putin: Blatter deserves Nobel Peace Prize

Suspended UEFA president Michel Platini’s lawyers said earlier this week that he would boycott his ethics committee hearing, scheduled for Friday, because he feels his case has been mishandled.

The Guardian reported Monday that Platini and Blatter would not receive the lifetime bans FIFA had requested, but that they could be handed suspensions of at least seven years.

Verdicts are expected early next week.

Jeremy Woo