The smell around international football still lingers with former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, now aged 85, given a new six plus year ban for breaching FIFA’s code of ethics.
The new penalty extends Blatter’s ban from all things football and empties his bank balance somewhat with a £750,000 fine to boot.
FIFA’s ethics committee found Blatter in breach of rules concerning duty of loyalty, conflicts of interest and offering or accepting gifts or other benefits. FIFA accepted that Blatter received economic benefits totalling £18,000,000 and also approved unearned bonuses of £32,000,000 to other officials. Former secretary general Jerome Valcke did not escape the watchful eye of FIFA with Valcke also receiving a comparable fine and suspension for similar offences plus abuse of position.
FIFA released a statement saying: “The investigations into Messrs Blatter and Valcke covered various charges, in particular concerning bonus payments in relation to FIFA competitions that were paid to top FIFA management officials, various amendments and extensions of employment contracts, as well as reimbursement by FIFA of private legal costs in the case of Mr Valcke.”
Blatter and Valcke have 21 days to lodge an appeal to the FIFA decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and there could be an appointment made with CAS with Blatter reportedly saying that the decision by FIFA was “painful and incomprehensible blow” and that “The ethics committee in its current form has nothing to do with an independent body – it is much more the extended arm of the FIFA president [Gianni Infantino] and not much more than a ‘parallel justice’.”
Stay tuned …