Football: FIFA committee says Blatter had 'all his rights'

Football: FIFA committee says Blatter had 'all his rights'
FIFA said both Blatter and Platini had the same rights before being slapped with a 90-day suspension.
PHOTO: AFP

ZURICH - FIFA's ethics committee on Friday rejected claims by suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter that he was not allowed to give evidence before he was banned for 90 days.

"He had all his rights, including explaining himself in all necessary details. And with his lawyer," ethics committee spokesman Andreas Bantel told AFP. The committee suspended Blatter for 90 days on Thursday after Swiss prosecutors opened an investigation into him, plunging football's governing body into fresh turmoil.

After the 79-year-old's suspension, his lawyers said: "President Blatter was disappointed that the ethics committee did not follow the code of ethics and disciplinary code, both of which provide for an opportunity to be heard." The New York Times reported Friday that the Blatter had appealed against the ban, complaining that he only found out about it after it was made public.

But ethics committee spokesman Andreas Bantel said Blatter had been given the chance to put his case on October 1. UEFA chief Michel Platini, hit with the same suspension on Thursday, also "had the very same rights" at an interview on October 1, Bantel said.

Platini also plans to appeal against his 90 day suspension. Platini is a leading candidate in FIFA's presidential election in February.

FIFA has been in crisis since May, when US authorities announced charges against 14 officials and sports marketing executives over bribery allegations amounting to more than US$150 million (S$212 million). Neither Blatter nor Platini are implicated in the scandal however.

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