Sepp Blatter has been admitted to hospital in Zurich today. Blatter, 79, has been suspended as FIFA president over the legal investigation into FIFA’s financial affairs, along with his colleagues UEFA President Michel Platini and Secretary General of FIFA, Jerome Valcke.
The BBC says “a small breakdown” and “nervous shock” are the reason for this move, though it is anticipated Blatter will make a full recovery.
As Kettle has reported previously, FIFA has long been scrutinised, with Andrew Jennings leading the journalistic investigation that led to the FBI looking into wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering. The outcome led to the arrest of seven current FIFA officials in Zurich and a raid in Miami, and it catalysed further criminal investigations in Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica and Switzerland.
Twitter users already point out the pun of the circumstances
The first time the words “Blatter” and “admitted” have appeared together in the same sentence https://t.co/6hoWJVU0hQ
— The Sun Apologies (@SunApology) November 11, 2015
Gary Lineker, long critical of the practices of FIFA and especially its President tweeted this on November 6th, after initial reports of Blatter submitting to medical evaluation
Hear that Sepp Blatter is a little stressed. Thoughts are with him at this difficult time.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 6, 2015
The difficulty in assessing responses like this is that mental health and stress are genuine issues that especially amongst men face stigma, while the credibility of Blatter and his cohort is questionable in the face of denying wrong-doing in opposition to the ongoing criminal investigations.