Tuesday , October 24 2017

‘Sepp faces suspension’ – 90 days

In this July 20, 2015 file photo FIFA president Sepp Blatter attends a news conference following the extraordinary FIFA Executive Committee at the headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. (AP)
In this July 20, 2015 file photo FIFA president Sepp Blatter attends a news conference following the extraordinary FIFA Executive Committee at the headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. (AP)

ZURICH, Oct 7, (RTRS): FIFA president Sepp Blatter faces a 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 US lawyers who did not respond to requests for comment.

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

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 was not immediately available for comment. In related story, an associate of Sepp Blatter insisted on Wednesday that the besieged FIFA chief had not been threatened with a 90-day suspension, despite British media reports to the contrary.

“I was with president Blatter 30 minutes ago and no information of this kind was communicated to us,” the associate told AFP after claims that FIFA’s ethics committee had recommended a suspension of 90 days.

Contacted by AFP, a spokesman for the ethics committee tribunal refused to comment.

Several British media outlets, including Sky News and The Guardian, reported that the ethics watchdog had recommended a provisional suspension of 90 days.

These reports were based on statements by Klaus Stoehlker, described as a close adviser to Blatter.

However, in June, FIFA denied any legitimacy to the former adviser, insisting that his duties with Blatter had ended on May 31.

Last month, Swiss authorities opened an investigation for “criminal mismanagement” against 79-year-old Blatter.

Blatter, who has ruled FIFA for 17 years, insisted in a German magazine interview on Wednesday that he would not be forced out of office before an election to be held in February.

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