ZURICH: The Sepp Blatter press conference gate-crasher has been charged by Swiss police with trespass but no decision about further action has yet been taken.
Simon Brodkin, stage name Lee Nelson, was removed from FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Monday after interrupting the star of the world federation president’s news conference.
Brodkin declared himself as representing the non-existent North Korean 2026 World Cup bid before showering Blatter with fake dollar notes and being escorted away by security staff.
Blatter, 79, was re-elected FIFA president earlier this year but his election at congress in May was overshadowed by dawn raids at a nearby luxury hotel which saw the arrests of seven senior football officials, including FIFA vice-presidents Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo.
After the stunt, Brodkin tweeted a photo from one of his accounts, showing himself with the message: “Excited to be at FIFA meeting Sepp Blatter to secure the #NorthKorea2026 World Cup”.
A Zurich police spokesman said the comedian was “arrested and interrogated by the police”.
“There is a possible complaint about trespassing. We don’t know if there will be a trial or not; that is to be decided by the prosecutor and that will take some time.”
Brodkin has been involved in similar stunts in the past, including going on stage with rapper Kanye West at the Glastonbury Festival and, in 2014, attempting to infiltrate the England World Cup squad as they flew to the United States.
In 2013, Brodkin found himself in a British court after another football-related prank.
Dressed in full soccer kit, in the guise of another of his characters, footballer Jason Bent, Brodkin warmed up on the field with Manchester City players before their game at Everton’s Goodison Park.
He was charged with entering the playing area under the Football Offences Act and was cautioned by a court.
** Four Chelsea fans accused of refusing to allow a black man on to the Paris Metro have been banned from attending football matches for up to five years.
Richard Barklie, from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, and Joshua Parsons and William Simpson, both from Surrey, were banned for five years at Stratford Magistrates’ Court. Jordan Munday, from Sidcup in Kent, was banned for three years.
They were told they could not attend games at home or abroad.
District Judge Gareth Branston said: “Racist hatred was displayed by Chelsea fans on the Paris Metro that evening.”