FIFA President Joseph Blatter has been temporarily suspended by the ethical committee of FIFA. The final decision on his fate and that of Michel Platini will be made on Friday, commitee member Abdoulaye Makhtar Diop confirms, as both have come under scrutiny for suspect payments.
Blatter’s spokesperson Klauss Stöhlker told BBC Sport: “The news was communicated to the president this afternoon.” As “father of the ethics committee” Blatter is reportedly calm, in line with his consistent claims that he has not committed any wrong-doings. According to Stöhlker Blatter currently is effectively not suspended. If Friday’s decision is to uphold the suspension Blatter will have to vacate his office at headquarters in Zurich, and his Vice President Issa Hayatou will become Acting President.
Two weeks ago Swiss prosecutors began investigating Blatter for payments to Platini, who heads UEFA, the European federation of football associations, apparently for his work for FIFA from more than nine years ago. Furthermore a 2005 television rights agreement organised through Jack Warner, then President of CONCACAF, the North and Central American federation, is being investigated. At the beginning of this investigation Jérôme Valcke, the second-ranking official at FIFA, was suspended too for involvement in a ticket-scalping scandal.
Blatter’s temporary suspension has been met with humour as much as support.
Terrible to see Blatter unjustly suspended. A man who’s worked tirelessly for football’s gain, putting his own needs a distant 2nd #sarcasm
— Martin Lewis (@MartinSLewis) October 7, 2015
Gary Lineker has long been critical of the corruption claims and practices of FIFA and Sepp Blatter.
Sepp Blatter has been suspended by FIFA for 90 days. It’s a start, folks. It’s a start.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) October 7, 2015