Former FIFA President, Blatter Vows Not To Appeal Ban
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Former FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, has said he will not appeal against the ban imposed on him last month, claiming the members of the world governing body’s ethics committee are “biased”.
The 85-year-old was issued with a suspension of six years and eight months on March 24, which will begin when an existing ban expires in October.
FIFA’s ethics committee found Blatter was part of a “vicious circle” of officials who sought to award themselves over £50m in undeclared payments.
He was given 21 days from notification of the sanction to send a statement of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if he wished to challenge the ruling, but has opted not to do so.
“Further, the committee members are biased. So it doesn’t make sense to appeal.”
The decision not to appeal means Blatter will be banned from football until June 2028, when he will be 92.
He was found to have accepted undue economic benefits totalling 23 million Swiss francs (just under £18m) and approved payments or bonuses of a further 46m Swiss francs (just under £36m) to other officials.
In addition to the ban, he was fined one million Swiss francs (just under £780,000).
In its judgement, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee described Blatter’s behaviour as “completely reprehensible”.
Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was one of the officials who was found to have benefited from the undue payments. Like Blatter, he was banned for a further six years and eight months and fined one million Swiss francs.
He is currently serving a 10-year ban imposed in 2015 – again, his new suspension will only begin when the current sanction runs out.
Undue benefits to Blatter were authorised by Valcke and Julio Grondona, the former president of the Argentinian football federation who died in 2014.
Blatter then approved a variety of benefits – in the form of amended contract agreements or bonus payments – to Valcke, Grondona and FIFA’s former finance director Markus Kattner.
The men were found by FIFA’s ethics investigators to have “set up a scheme through which they were allowing themselves to obtain extraordinary benefits with a minimum of effort.
“This vicious circle saw three of them (Blatter, Grondona and Valcke) signing the amendment contracts of the others and approving the respective extraordinary bonuses, while the fourth (Kattner) was in charge of implementing the payment of such bonuses.”