Sepp Blatter: Fifa ethics committee like 'the Inquisition'

Sepp Blatter
The verdict on the investigation into Sepp Blatter is expected before Christmas

Suspended Fifa president Sepp Blatter has compared the investigation into ethics charges against him to "the Inquisition".

Blatter, 79, made the claim in a letter sent to all 209 national football associations reiterating his innocence.

The Swiss was banned for 90 days in October, along with Uefa president Michel Platini. Both deny wrongdoing.

Blatter and Platini, 60, will have personal hearings with Fifa's ethics committee this week.

World football's governing body is investigating allegations that a £1.35m payment was made in 2011 for work Platini did as Blatter's adviser.

The term Spanish Inquisition is colloquially used to describe being asked questions which those facing them do not feel they need to answer.

In the letter Blatter says:

  • He has acted in his role with "complete loyalty and in good faith"
  • The payment to Platini was based on a "verbal contract"
  • His view is based on his "firm faith in justice"
  • He hopes 2016 will be a better year for Fifa

Blatter also criticised the ethics committee's process, accusing them of "seeking the maximum penalty and strengthening the public attitude" which leads to "prejudice".

He added: "This process brings to my mind the practices of the Inquisition."

Blatter and Platini's hearings will take place before the Fifa ethics adjudicator Hans-Joachim Eckert at an undisclosed location.

Both men will have separate hearings which, taken together, could stretch over three days and both are entitled to bring legal teams with them.

A verdict could come as early as 21 December.

Platini's bid to have his 90-day provisional ban from football lifted was denied by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 11 December.

The Frenchman still hopes to be a candidate to replace outgoing president Blatter in the Fifa presidential elected on 26 February but can only stand if he is cleared.

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Sepp Blatter profileBlatter-Platini payment a 'conflict of interest'
Corruption claims - key questionsBlatter and Platini could get seven-year bans

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