FIFA boss Blatter faces 90-day ‘provisional’ suspension

FIFA President Joseph Blatter © Hannibal
Outgoing FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, may be a provisionally suspended for 90 days by the Ethics Committee of football’s governing body, media have reported. However, Klaus Stöhlker, who has advised Blatter in the past, told journalists that the final decision is to be taken on Friday.

“There is no final decision, this is a recommendation from the lower part of the Ethics Committee to the upper part,” Stöhlker said.

Initial reports suggested that the suspension was already in effect. However, Blatter’s lawyers have issued a statement saying that their client has not been notified of any action by the Ethics Committee.

Statement from Blatter's lawyer:"We issue this statement in response to press reports about the FIFA Ethics Committee. ...

Posted by Rob Harris on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Ethics Committee has been meeting in Zurich since Monday to discuss the criminal proceedings that have been launched against Blatter by the Swiss attorney general.

FREAD MORE: FIFA president Blatter facing criminal proceedings - Switzerland's Attorney General

The 79-year-old is accused of signing a TV rights contract “unfavorable” to FIFA and making a “disloyal payment” of nearly $2 million to UEFA President Michel Platini, the head of European football’s governing body.

Platini claims that the money he received in 2011 was “valid compensation” for work he had carried out more than nine before. He provided the investigation with all the information related to the transaction and has so far only been a witness in the case.

READ MORE: UEFA chief Michel Platini to stand for FIFA President – UEFA website

The news came just hours after Blatter slammed the criminal investigation against him as “outrageous.”

“I am being condemned without there being any evidence for wrongdoing on my part,” he told German Bunte magazine.

Vitaly Mutko, head of the Russian Football Union and a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, told the TASS news agency that he “hasn’t yet received a confirmation” of the decision to provisionally suspend Blatter.   

“But I didn’t think that it’ll have any significant effect on the situation [in FIFA] because there’s an Executive Committee and functional management system. The organization is preparing for the conference,” Mutko said.

FIFA is to hold an extraordinary Congress to elect Blatter’s successor on February 26. 

The Swiss national, who has headed world football since 1998, announced in June that he would be stepping down amid the massive corruption scandal that has shaken the organization. 

In late May, 14 FIFA-linked officials and businessmen were indicted by the US on allegations of bribery, fraud, and money laundering worth more than $150 million. Seven of them were arrested in a Zurich hotel.