FIFA President Sepp Blatter is facing a 90-day suspension from football if the governing body’s ethics judge backs a prosecutor’s recommendation, a close friend and former advisor to Blatter has said.Blatter’s long-term confidant Klaus Stoehlker told Reuters on Wednesday that the decision by judge Hans-Joachim Eckert on the provisional suspension was expected by Friday.”There is no final decision, this is a recommendation from the lower part of the Ethics Committee to the upper part,” said Stoehlker, who added that Blatter had been informed of the development.”President Blatter will be in his office at FIFA tomorrow,” he said.A FIFA spokesperson directed inquiries to Blatter’s US lawyers who did not respond to requests for comment.A spokesman for Eckert declined to comment. A spokesman for the Investigatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee was not immediately available for comment.Swiss prosecutors last month opened a criminal investigation into Blatter over a Caribbean World Cup TV rights contract he signed, and a 2011 payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.1 million) to UEFA head Michel Platini, whose status the Swiss attorney general has described as being between a witness and an accused person.Blatter, who has run FIFA since 1998, and Platini, who wants to succeed him, have both denied any wrongdoing.Media reports have suggested that the Ethics Committee is also investigating Platini.
Bound by confidentiality rules, FIFA’s Ethics Committee have not commented on whether Platini is under investigation.Platini’s spokesman was not immediately available for comment.The adjudicatory chamber had also suspended seven FIFA officials after police acting on US warrants arrested them in Zurich in May.Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger on Wednesday said that the ethics panel’s chamber had gathered on Monday in Zurich, FIFA’S hometown.”Everything suggests that decisions on the future of football titans Blatter and Platini are imminent,” the Zurich-based paper said without citing a source for its information.Blatter on Wednesday told a German magazine that the criminal investigation against him was “not correct” and defended his decision not to step down sooner as the FIFA president.”The situation is not pleasant,” the weekly, Bunte, quoted him as saying in an interview.”I am being condemned without there being any evidence for wrongdoing on my part. That is really outrageous.”Four days after winning a fifth term, Blatter rocked the world of football in June by saying he would step down in the wake of corruption investigations by the US and Swiss authorities.He remains in office ahead of a scheduled February election.He reiterated in the Bunte interview that he had no plans for an immediate resignation, despite coordinated calls by major sponsors, including Coca-Cola Co, McDonald’s and Visa, last week for such a move.”This is just an investigation, not an indictment,” he told Bunte. “I will fight until Feb 26. For myself. For FIFA. I am convinced that evil will come to light and good will prevail.”Former Senegal Sports Minister Abdoulaye Diop, a member of the adjudicatory chamber, told Senegal’s state news agency APS this week that the commission would address the cases of Blatter, Platini and Fifa presidential hopeful Chung Mong-joon in meetings due to last until Friday.South Korean Chung said he was facing a 15-year suspension by the ethics committee that has “sabotaged” his election campaign but denied wrongdoing.Chung told a news conference in Seoul this week that he was being charged with violating six articles from FIFA’S Code of Ethics, which he said stemmed from his “support” for South Korea’s 2022 World Cup bid and his proposal to launch a Global Football Fund.