Suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter presented his defence to the ethics committee of world soccer’s governing body on Thursday, arguing he had behaved properly, his American attorney said.
Blatter is under investigation in Switzerland on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of funds at FIFA, the global soccer body which is also at the centre of a huge FBI corruption probe. He denies any wrongdoing.
“President Blatter looks forward to a decision in his favor, because the evidence requires it,” Richard Cullen of New York-based legal practice McGuireWoods said in a statement emailed to media.
“The evidence demonstrates that President Blatter behaved properly and certainly did not violate FIFA’s Code of Ethics. This investigation should be closed and the suspension lifted.”
Blatter was suspended on October 8 from all soccer-related activity for 90 days alongside European (UEFA) soccer chief Michel Platini pending a full investigation into their conduct.
Meanwhile, Russian president Vladimir Putin has hailed Blatter – and said he should be given the Nobel Peace Prize.
“That is someone who should be given the Nobel Peace Prize,” he said.
“His contribution to the global humanitarian sphere is colossal.
“Whether there are signs of corruption in FIFA, the investigation must show.
“As for Joseph Blatter, he is a very respected person, he has done a lot for the development of world soccer.”