Sepp Blatter: Fifa president facing 90-day suspension

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter has been president of Fifa since 1998

Fifa president Sepp Blatter is facing a 90-day provisional suspension.

Members of Fifa's ethics committee have recommended the sanction after the Swiss attorney general opened criminal proceedings against the 79-year-old.

He is accused of signing a contract "unfavourable" to football's governing body and making a "disloyal payment" to Uefa president Michel Platini.

Blatter denies any wrongdoing and his lawyers said he had "not been notified of any action".

European football chief Platini - who wants to succeed Blatter - has said the payment was "valid compensation" from his time working under the Swiss more than nine years ago.

The investigatory chamber of Fifa's ethics committee has requested the ban and a final decision is likely to be made on Thursday by Hans Joachim Eckert, the head of Fifa's ethics adjudicatory chamber.

More on Fifa's corruption crisis
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Blatter's adviser Klaus Stohlker said the Fifa president was "calm" after being told the news, but a statement from his legal representatives denied he had been made aware of any decision.

It said: "We would expect that the ethics committee would want to hear from the president and his counsel, and conduct a thorough review of the evidence, before making any recommendation to take disciplinary action."

On Wednesday, Blatter told a German magazine he was being "condemned without there being any evidence for wrongdoing".

The investigation is centred on allegations believed to be around a 2005 TV rights deal between Fifa and Jack Warner, the former president of Concacaf, the governing body of football in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

The ethics committee had been meeting in Zurich since Monday and have yet to make a decision on Platini, 60.

It is also examining a payment of two million Swiss francs (£1.35m) that Platini received in 2011 for working for Blatter.

The Frenchman has provided information to the criminal investigation but said he has done so as a witness.

Swiss prosecutors said he is being treated as "in between a witness and an accused person" as they investigate corruption at world football's governing body.

The latest development came hours after former Fifa vice-president Chung Mong-joon, who is also under investigation by Fifa's ethics committee, told BBC Sport his campaign to succeed Blatter was being "smeared".

Blatter won a fifth consecutive Fifa presidential election on 29 May but, following claims of corruption, announced his decision to step down on 2 June. He is due to finish his term at a Fifa extraordinary congress on 26 February.

BBC Radio 5 live sports correspondent Richard Conway
"The fates of both Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini - the man who wants to succeed him - now hang in the balance.
"As of right now, Blatter is still in charge of Fifa. But that could all change on Thursday.
"He is scheduled to leave office on 26 February, so he is coming to the end of his time anyway - but this is certainly not the way Blatter wanted to leave Fifa.
"He wanted to go out having restored some credibility and integrity to his own role, and to Fifa itself.
"There are also reports that Mr Platini will also be suspended, a decision which would prevent him from standing as a candidate in next February's Fifa election.
"These decisions could have huge implications for both the immediate and long term future of world football."

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