Blatter faces judgment by FIFA ethics court he created

by

December 18, 2015
Sepp Blatter

ZURICH, AP:

In the waning days of his presidency, Sepp Blatter attempted to save his job yesterday at the FIFA ethics committee he helped create and whose authority he does not recognise in his case.

The suspended FIFA president had been expected to tell four judges he is innocent of wrongdoing during the hearing at the headquarters of soccer's governing body, the first time Blatter has entered the building since he was banned for 90 days in October.

"Blatter looks forward to a decision in his favour because the evidence requires it," Blatter's lawyer, Richard Cullen, said in a statement after the hearing.

"The evidence demonstrates that President Blatter behaved properly and certainly did not violate FIFA's Code of Ethics. This investigation should be closed and the suspension lifted."

With a large bandage on his face, Blatter arrived at FIFA headquarters shortly after 8 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) in a chauffeur-driven car for a hearing that was scheduled to start at 9 a.m. A spokesman for Blatter, Thomas Renggli, said the Swiss official has had a minor procedure to treat a skin problem on his right cheek.

At 5 p.m., Blatter and lead lawyer Lorenz Erni drove away from the building without making any comment.

In 2012, Blatter was key to empowering a tougher and more independent FIFA ethics committee that he now insists cannot remove an elected

president.

"Now it has come back to haunt him," Mark Pieth, a former anti-corruption adviser to FIFA, told The Associated Press this week.

Blatter risks a life ban if the verdict due early next week is guilty for approving a payment of about $2 million from FIFA to Michel Platini in 2011. Platini has also been banned for 90 days.

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