The Ethics committee of World football governing body, FIFA has banned its president, Sepp Blatter, vice president and UEFA president, Michell Platini and general secretary, Jerome Valcke for 90 days, with a possibility of extending it to 135 days, while former vice president and presidential candidate, Chung Mong-joon has been banned for a total of six years and fined 100,000 Swiss Francs (£67,924).
The suspension came following months of investigations into the governing body’s conduct from the US Department of Justice which accused Blatter of signing a contract “unfavorable” to FIFA and making a “disloyal payment” to Michel Platini of UEFA. This has implicated Platini, who has been widely heralded as a potential successor to Blatter. Furthermore, the suspension has cast a doubt on his chances to succeed Blatter on the throne of FIFA.
Jerome Valcke, who is FIFA’s general secretary was already on leave from his FIFA post following newspaper allegations last month which implicated him in a scheme to profit from the sale of World Cup tickets. A charge which he vehemently denies.
According to a FIFA statement: “The adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee chaired by Hans Joachim Eckert has provisionally banned FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, UEFA President and FIFA Vice-President Michel Platini, and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke (who had already been placed on leave by his employer FIFA) for a duration of 90 days.”
“The duration of the bans may be extended for an additional period not exceeding 45 days. The former FIFA Vice-President Chung Mong-joon has been banned for six years and fined CHF 100,000. During this time, the above individuals are banned from all football activities on a national and international level. The bans come into force immediately.
“The grounds for these decisions are the investigations that are being carried out by the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee. The chairman of the chamber is Dr Cornel Borbély. The investigation into Joseph S. Blatter is being carried out by Robert Torres, the investigation into Michel Platini by Vanessa Allard.
“The proceedings against the South Korean football official Chung Mong-joon were opened in January 2015 based on findings in the report on the investigation into the bidding process for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups. He has been found guilty of infringing article 13 (General rules of conduct), article 16 (Confidentiality), article 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), article 41 (Obligation of the parties to collaborate) and article 42 (General obligation to collaborate) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
“The Ethics Committee is unable to comment on the details of the decisions until they become final, due to the provisions of article 36 (Confidentiality) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”
It should be recalled that Mr. Sepp Blatter announced his decision to step down in the wake of the corruption allegations earlier this year after United States authorities indicted 14 FIFA officials and associates on bribery and racketeering charges and a simultaneous Swiss investigation was started into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. He was due to finish his term on 26 February 2016 at a FIFA extraordinary congress on which is not likely to happen with him in charge now.
According to FIFA provisions, Vice president and CAF president, Issa Hayatou is to be interim FIFA president as he is the longest serving vice president currently. Hayatou was elected president of the Confederation of African Football in 1988, and previously ran for the Fifa presidency in 2002 – which ended in a crushing defeat to Blatter.
A FIFA statement read: “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.”
Does this boost the chances of Nigeria’s Segun Odegbami actualizing his dream of emerging the next FIFA president? Comment below…