Ethics committee recommends 90-day suspension for FIFA President

Members of committee met this week after the Swiss attorney general opened criminal proceedings against the 79-year-old Blatter last month.

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FIFA’s Ethics Committee has recommended a provisional suspension of 90 days for the world football body’s president, Sepp Blatter, who has been under investigation by the Swiss authorities.

Members of committee met this week after the Swiss attorney general opened criminal proceedings against the 79-year-old Blatter last month.

He is accused of signing a contract deemed unfavourable to FIFA and also making a payment considered "disloyal’’ to Michel Platini, who head Europe’s football governing body UEFA.

Both Blatter, who is from Switzerland and has run FIFA since 1998, and Platini, who wants to succeed him, have however denied any wrongdoing.

A final decision is likely to be made on Friday by Hans Joachim Eckhert, the head of the committee, which is FIFA's ethics adjudicatory chamber.

"The news (of the suspension) was communicated to Blatter this (Wednesday) afternoon. He is calm. He is the father of the ethics committee,’’ his adviser, Klauss Stohlker, said.

"But this is provisional for 90 days and he is not actually suspended. The committee has not yet made a decision and their meetings continue,’’ he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Blatter had said he was being ``condemned without there being any evidence for wrongdoing’’.

The ethics committee had been meeting in Zurich since Monday and have yet to make a decision on Platini.

The investigation is centred on allegations believed to be around a 2005 television rights deal between FIFA and Jack Warner, the former President of CONCACAF.

CONCACAF is the governing body of football in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Investigators are also examining a payment of two million Swiss Francs (about £1.35 million; N415 million) which Platini received in 2011 for working for Blatter.

He claims it was "valid compensation’’ for work carried out more than nine years previously.

The Frenchman has provided information to the criminal investigation but said he has done so as a witness.

Swiss prosecutors said he is being treated as "in between a witness and an accused person’’ as they investigate corruption at world football's governing body.

The latest development came hours after former FIFA Vice-President Chung Mong-joon, who is also under investigation by FIFA's ethics committee, said his campaign to succeed Blatter was being "smeared’’.

Blatter had won a fifth consecutive FIFA presidential election on May 29 but, following claims of corruption, announced on June 2 his decision to step down.

He is due to finish his term at a FIFA extraordinary congress on Feb. 26.

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