Blatter fights ban as FIFA plans October 20 crisis talks
As the drama intensified, FIFA announced that an extraordinary meeting of its executive committee would meet in Zurich on October 20.
Some senior FIFA members had suggested the meeting could discuss postponing the election to replace Blatter –who has already announced he will stand down –currently slated for February 26.
That development followed growing calls for an emergency meeting after the suspension of Blatter, UEFA president Michel Platini and FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke. The row over Blatter’s suspension had already taken a fresh twist as FIFA’s ethics watchdog rejected the 79-year-old’s claims he was not allowed to give evidence before he was banned, saying he was given “all his rights”.
Blatter’s lawyers confirmed they had filed an official appeal and asked for further hearings with the ethics committee. The New York Times earlier reported that Blatter had complained that he only found out about his suspension after it was made public. But ethics committee spokesman Andreas <g data-gr-id="26">Bantel</g> said Blatter had been given the chance to put his case on October 1.
Platini, hit with the same suspension on Thursday, also “had the very same rights” at an interview on the same day, Bantel said. Platini also plans to appeal against his 90-day suspension.
The Frenchman is a leading candidate in FIFA’s presidential election in February, alongside South Korean tycoon Chung Mong-Joon who was banned from football activities for six years in the ethics committee purge.
Blatter, who has led FIFA since 1998, was provisionally banned by the ethics watchdog as Swiss prosecutors investigate him for criminal mismanagement.