Blatter ‘Provisionally Suspended’ As FIFA Head

The scandal embroiling Sepp Blatter, the head of world football’s governing body FIFA has taken a new turn with his ‘provisional’ suspension for 90 days.

The will he stay or will he go saga has rumbled on for months after allegations of corruption emerged against Blatter, 79.

He has headed FIFA since 1998, winning his last election in May.

FIFA’s ethics committee has spent the past few days meeting behind closed doors to discuss his future.

Blatter announced in June he will leave his post on February 26, 2016. The decision has left a power vacuum at the top of world football.

A final decision about his suspension is expected later this week.

Criminal investigation

Blatter is the subject of a criminal investigation by Swiss detectives looking into a 2005 TV rights deal signed with FIFA by Jack Warner, the former president of Concacaf, the body governing football in the Caribbean, North and Central America.

The investigation also covers a £1.35 million payment accepted by former French international Michel Platini, head of Europe’s football governing body EUFA.

Platini, who is thought to want to succeed Blatter, claims he has done nothing wrong and that police have interviewed him as a witness.

Swiss police take a different view. In a statement they described Platini as ‘somewhere between a witness and an accused person’.

Other FIFA officials are also implicated in the allegations.

The corruption allegations first surfaced when the World Cup finals were awarded to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

Bribery and corruption allegations

More police investigation into alleged bribery and corruption are running in Switzerland and the US.

Warner is one of the key characters in the sorry tale of FIFA’s woes.

He was arrested in the US and is said to have revealed all about FIFA’s scandals in negotiating a deal with prosecutors.

Warner was close to Blatter and was well-placed to know where all the bodies were buried over the years.

Alongside the corruption allegations, Russia and Qatar could still be stripped of hosting the World Cup finals if they are found guilty of any involvement in wrongdoing.

This could end in financial disaster as Qatar has invested £35 billion in building infrastructure for the tournament and has threatened to look to FIFA for compensation if the finals go elsewhere.