POSTED: October 8th 2015

Olympics: FIFA puts Blatter, Platini and Valcke on 90 day suspension

FIFA President and former IOC member Sepp Blatter / Getty Images
FIFA President and former IOC member Sepp Blatter / Getty Images

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke / Getty Images
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke / Getty Images

UEFA President Michel Platini / Getty Images
UEFA President Michel Platini / Getty Images

Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The International Football Federation's (FIFA) Independent Ethics Committee has suspended President Sepp Blatter and Secretary General Jerome Valcke for 90 days relieving them officially of their duties to run world football. Michel Platini, FIFA Presidential candidate and head of UEFA, has also been given the 90 day notice by the ethics committee.

The federation issued a statement:

"Today, in accordance with FIFA's Code of Ethics, Joseph S. Blatter was relieved of all his duties as FIFA President following the decision of the Independent Chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee to provisionally ban him from all football activities on a national and international level.

Joseph S. Blatter, for the duration of the 90-day ban, is not allowed to represent FIFA in any capacity, act on the organisation's behalf, or communicate to media or other stakeholders as a FIFA representative.

As mandated by article 32 (6) of the FIFA Statutes, Issa Hayatou, as the longest-serving vice-president on FIFA's Executive Committee, will serve as Acting President of FIFA.

It was also announced that the Independent Chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee issued a provisional 90-day ban for FIFA's Secretary General, Jérôme Valcke.

This decision follows FIFA's announcement on 17 September 2015, that the organization had put Jérôme Valcke on leave and released him from his duties effective immediately.  On that date, FIFA requested a formal investigation by the Ethics Committee.

All operational business matters will continue to be overseen by Markus Kattner, Acting Secretary General."

Twitter is on fire about the decision and Richard Conway of the BBC Tweeted that Blatter's attorneys have immediately issued a statement in rebuttal:

"President Blatter was disappointed that the Ethics Committee did not follow the Code of Ethics and disciplinary code, both of which provide an opportunity to be heard. Further, the Ethics Committee based its decision on a misunderstanding of the actions of the Attorney General in Switzerland, which has opened an investigation but brought no charge against the President. In fact, the prosecutors will be obliged by law to dismiss the case if their investigation, barely two weeks old, does not establish sufficient evidence. President Blatter looks forward to the opportunity to present evidence that will demonstrate that he did not engage in any misconduct, criminal or otherwise."

 Martyn Ziegler of the Press Association Tweeted "Blatter's lawyers say ethics committee should have allowed him personal hearing. Code states otherwise however":

84 procedure

1. The chairman of the adjudicatory chamber may summon the parties to a hearing at short notice or set them a short time limit in which to submit written statements.

2. The chairman of the adjudicatory chamber may make his decision on the basis of the case files available to him without hearing the parties, in which case the parties shall be summoned to a hearing or invited to submit written statements after the decision has been issued. After hearing the parties, the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber shall confirm, revoke or amend his decision."

FIFA has just issued a statement on behalf of new acting president, Issa Hayatou:

"Today, amid extraordinary circumstances, I have assumed the office of FIFA President pursuant to Article 32 (6) of the FIFA Statutes. I will serve only on an interim basis. A new President will be chosen by the Extraordinary Congress on 26 February 2016. I myself will not be a candidate for that position.

Until the Extraordinary Congress, I pledge that I will dedicate my best efforts to the organization, the member associations, our employees, our valued partners, and football fans everywhere.  FIFA remains committed to the reform process, which is critical to reclaiming public trust.  We will also continue to cooperate fully with authorities and follow the internal investigation wherever it leads.

Football has never enjoyed greater support throughout the world, and that is something everyone associated with FIFA should be proud of."

The Guardian newspaper reports a lengthy statement by UEFA President Michel Platini:

"It was reported last night that the investigatory chamber of the Fifa Ethics Committee intends to recommend to its adjudicatory chamber that I be given a 90-day suspension.

"This is clearly an extremely serious matter - all the more so given that this information appears to have come from an official Fifa source, despite the fact that the Ethics Committee, which is supposed to act with full independence, has not yet issued its decision.

"This deliberate leak - which is insidious in nature and has come about in an unacceptable manner - is essentially an attempt to damage my reputation. Over the last few weeks, I have stressed my willingness to cooperate fully with the authorities carrying out the various enquiries in compliance with the strictest procedural rules. Fifa, on the other hand, has clearly flouted those rules.

"I have always acted and expressed myself with honesty, courage and candour, as I feel that this is my moral duty. If what is being reported regarding the intentions of the investigatory chamber of the Fifa Ethics Committee is indeed true, I will stop at nothing to ensure that the truth is known. Nobody should be in any doubt as to my determination to achieve that objective.

"In the meantime, a dispassionate, independent and impartial judicial body needs to shine a light on the events that led the Fifa Ethics Committee to open these investigatory proceedings.

"This morning I submitted the letters of support that are required in order to stand as a candidate for the presidency of Fifa. As I have always done since 2007, I will fulfil my obligations after consulting UEFA's 54 member associations, which I will ask to convene shortly in Nyon. I will also meet with all the other confederations and Fifa's member associations in the spirit of openness that has always characterised my actions.

"I am certain that we will overcome this difficulty with full transparency and the unity that gives football its strength."

Keywords · Olympics · FIFA · football

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