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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Blatter, other top FIFA officials banned from football for 90 days

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FIFA President Sepp Blatter
FIFA President Sepp Blatter

Three senior FIFA officials suspected of corruption have been placed under provisional bans for 90 days by the world’s football governing body’s ethics committee.

They are FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Vice-President Michel Platini and Secretary General Jérôme Valcke.

Michel Platini
Michel Platini

In a statement, FIFA’s ethics committee said that the men are “banned from all football activities on a national and international level” for the next three months, effective immediately. The suspension could be extended by a further 45 days.

Additionally, former FIFA Vice-President Chung Mong-joon has been banned for six years and fined CHF100,000 (QR376,000). He was found guilty of misconduct in the bidding process for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups, FIFA said.

All men maintain their innocence.

Both Mong-joon and Platini had planned to run for the FIFA presidency, but the deadline to submit a nomination is Oct. 26.

Platini, head of the European soccer confederation, had been a favorite for the presidency after Blatter said he was stepping down this summer, and his suspension further puts the fate of FIFA in question.

Allegations

The ban comes weeks after Swiss investigators announced the opening of criminal proceedings against Blatter for possible “criminal mismanagement and misappropriation.”

Blatter announced he was resigning as president of FIFA shortly after being elected for a fifth term this summer. The move came after US authorities indicted several FIFA officials on bribery and racketeering charges.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

At the same time, the Swiss began investigating the bidding process for Russia and Qatar’s 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

New elections for the presidency will take place on Feb. 26, 2016.

Because both Blatter and Platini were vocal supporters of Qatar’s World Cup bid, questions have been raised about the fate of the tournament’s venue in 2022.

After Blatter’s resignation, English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said:

“He’s gone. At long last we can sort out Fifa. We can go back to looking at those two World Cups. If I were Qatar right now I wouldn’t be feeling very comfortable.”

And today, the Telegraph reported:

“With most of the Fifa execs who voted for Qatar and Russia now exposed for corruption, there’s a big clamour building for a revote. Whether anything actually comes of it remains to be seen.”

However, in what could be seen as a vote of confidence for Qatar’s bid, FIFA just finalized the dates for the 2022 World Cup last month, saying it will be held here from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18 (National Day).

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