Fifa set to ban own president Sepp Blatter - as potential successor vows to sue for $100m

Frank Dalleres
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Sepp Blatter is currently under investigation for alleged corruption (Source: Getty)

Crisis-hit Fifa president Sepp Blatter's troubled 17-year reign has reached a new low after it emerged that the world governing body is on the verge of banning him.

The investigatory arm of Fifa's own ethics committee is believed to have recommended that Blatter be suspended for 90 days, and a decision could be made on Thursday.

It follows probes into two controversies: Fifa's 2005 sale of television rights to now-banned former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner and an alleged £1.3m payment to Michel Platini, the president of European chiefs Uefa and would-be successor to Blatter.

Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, the head of the adjudicatory arm of Fifa's ethics committee, is set to rule on the 90-day recommendation. Platini has also been under investigation.

"The news was communicated to the president this afternoon," said Blatter's aide Klauss Stohlker. "He is calm. Remember he is the father of the ethics committee. The committee has not yet made a decision and their meetings continue."

Blatter's latest setback came on the day that one of the leading candidates to succeed him, South Korean Chung Mong-Joon, accused the 79-year-old of embezzlement and vowed to sue for $100m.

Chung says Blatter, who has pledged to step down in February, has cost Fifa huge sums by refusing to divulge his salary, and that he himself should have paid the $90m it cost to settle a legal row with Mastercard in 2007.

"Naturally for him to get paid without ExCo approval is embezzlement. That is why I plan to sue Mr Blatter on his embezzlement in court," he told the Leaders in Sport Business Summit.

Chung, who said he planned to sue in Switzerland, added of the Mastercard affair: "Why should Fifa pay the fine for Blatter's corruption? Blatter and Mr Valcke [Fifa's suspended general secretary] should pay the fine from their own pocket."

The 63-year-old pledged to pay any money made from suing Blatter back to Fifa.
"The amount of money I can claim against Blatter is in proportion to the damage he inflicted on Fifa," he said at the event at Stamford Bridge in London.

"For example, Fifa was humiliated by a judge in New York. The judge mentioned the word 'lies' 13 times and she even said Fifa should not be allowed to use the slogan 'fair play'. $100m fine. That happened in 2006. So it must be bigger than that."

Chung, whose father founded car giant Hyundai, is himself under investigation by Fifa's ethics committee, a process that may prevent him from running in next February's election. He described it as a "smear" from Blatter, who he called "a hypocrite and a liar".

"From the beginning it was clear that the investigatory chamber was taking this investigation to prevent me from running," he said. "Unlike Blatter, Valcke and Platini I'm not facing any allegations of bribery, fraud, corruption or conflict of interest."

Blatter is under investigation from Swiss authorities for alleged corruption. The Swiss announced he would step down as president in June, just days after winning a fifth term, following a spate of arrests of Fifa officials in connection with a US federal investigation.