FIFA Recommends Blatter, Platini for Suspension
Yemi Adebowale | Abuja
FIFA investigators have recommended Sepp Blatter and UEFA chief Michel Platini be suspended from the organisation.
The two most powerful figures in world football are on the brink of losing their thrones, following the recommendation.
The investigatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee are understood to have recommended the immediate suspension of the pair in another extraordinary development in the FIFA corruption scandal.
Klaus Stoehlker, a former advisor and friend of world football’s outgoing President, said FIFA’s internal investigations unit has told the President he has been provisionally suspended from the organisation.
The two chambers of FIFA’s independent Ethics Committee have been holding meetings to decide the fate of both Blatter and Platini, who is also a vice President of FIFA and a candidate in the forthcoming Presidential election.
The outgoing President faces accusations from Swiss police of signing a television rights contract “unfavourable” to the organisation with the disgraced former head of Caribbean football Jack Warner, who made millions of dollars in personal profit from the deal. He is also accused of making a £1.35m payment to UEFA President Michel Platini, which Swiss investigators have described as “disloyal” to FIFA.
Michel Platini, a legendary former player, remains a candidate in the forthcoming FIFA Presidential election, despite Swiss police currently considering him as “between a witness and a suspect” in their investigation into corruption at FIFA.
The recommendation to suspend Blatter has been made by Cornel Borbely, a Swiss lawyer who became head of FIFA’s Investigatory Chamber after the resignation of US lawyer Michael Garcia last December.
If normal procedures are followed, FIFA’s most Senior Vice President, the Cameroonian Issa Hayatou will be installed as acting President. He has previously been the subject of allegations over ticketing and marketing rights scandals.
Sepp Blatter had declared he would carry on as FIFA President until February 26th, when an extraordinary election takes place, despite calls for his immediate resignation last week from four of FIFA’s top sponsors, Coca-Cola, Visa, McDonald’s and Budweiser.
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