ZURICH: Sepp Blatter’s adviser claims the suspended FIFA president plans to challenge the authority of the organisation’s ethics committee, and in particular whether it has the powers to remove him from his position.

The Swiss 79-year-old and Michel Platini, French president of European federation UEFA, face lifetime bans from football on corruption charges.

Blatter, however, is considering circumventing the ethics committee, claiming that only congress can remove his mandate.

His advisor Klaus Stohlker said: “Mr Blatter was elected by the Fifa congress and only the congress can remove his power.”

The recommended sanctions relate to charges brought over a SFr2m (£1.3m) payment made to Platini from FIFA in 2011 on Blatter’s authorisation.

Platini’s lawyer, Thibaut D’Ales, has described the lifetime ban recommended by ethics investigators as a “pure scandal” and “disproportionate”.

He also claimed it had been leaked to further undermine Platini’s hopes of running for the FIFA presidency. Under the terms of his suspension from football the Frenchman is forbidden from standing in next February’s election.

D’Ales said: “This ban is subject to corruption being proved but it is clearly a disproportionate punishment.

“In releasing this, there is clearly a desire to harm. The masks are slipping one by one in FIFA, the electoral calendar is being manipulated and there is a strategy to eliminate Platini as a candidate.”

Hans-Joachim Eckert, the judge heading the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee, opened proceedings against the pair on Monday after receiving investigators’ reports.

The pair, who have already taken their appeal against their 90-day suspensions to the Court for Arbitration of Sport, can contest the report’s findings.