ZURICH: FIFA’s suspended president Sepp Blatter may have landed himself in even trouble with the world federation’s ethics committee over his comments to a Swiss TV channel about his case writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Blatter and Michel Platini, the French president of European governing body UEFA, were each suspended for 90 days last week by ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert over allegations involving a ‘disloyal payment’ of SFr2m in 2011.
The payment, from FIFA and authorised by Blatter, was said by Platini to have been for work he had completed nine years earlier. Reports that the payment was also the result of a ‘verbal contract’ have all but wrecked his bid to secure the FIFA presidency when Blatter steps down next February.
Yesterday, in Nyon, Platini’s lawyers detailed the case and his response to leaders of the 54 European national associations under conditions of strict confidentiality in line with Article 36 of the FIFA Code of Ethics so as not to breach the investigatory regulations.
Blatter, however, felt under no such restraint when talking to local Swiss broadcaster RROTV from his home canton of Valais.
Asked about the deal with Platini, Blatter described it as a “gentleman’s agreement.”
He said: “It was a contract I had with Michel Platini, a gentleman’s agreement and that was followed through on.”
The TV channel did not clarify when the interview had been recorded. The ethics committee acted against Blatter and Platini on October 8, some 10 days after having been initially notified of grounds for an investigation.