Blatter confident after launching appeal

Ian Watson

Sepp Blatter has lodged an appeal against his provisional 90-day ban imposed by FIFA’s ethics committee.

Blatter was relieved of his duties as FIFA president on Thursday after the ethics committee’s decision but lodged an immediate appeal.

Klaus Stohlker, Blatter’s friend and adviser, told Press Association Sport: “He has appealed already to FIFA’s appeal committee. He is defending his position and he is sure that he will be found not guilty.”

Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini were both handed 90-day provisional bans by the committee while investigations take place into a £1.35million payment to the Frenchman.

Platini has also announced he will challenge the ban, and the decision will go to the FIFA appeals committee.

The timing of the provisional ban could hardly be worse for Platini, who wanted to run in the election to succeed Blatter as president but with nominations closing on October 26 those plans lie in ruins.

UEFA’s 54 member associations will convene next Thursday in Nyon to discuss the crisis, and there is expected to be an emergency FIFA executive committee meeting in Zurich the following week.

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has said the governing body will drop its support for Platini if the ethic committee decides there has been wrongdoing.

Dyke told Press Association Sport: ”If the ethics committee reaches a conclusion that Mr Platini has not behaved properly or has behaved dishonestly then of course the FA will not support him.

”That’s why we said in our statement that we are awaiting the results of the investigation – we need to see the evidence.

”I can see why people are saying we should stop supporting him now, but we will follow what the ethics committee decides.

”Platini claims it’s a fix, but if they decide he has behaved improperly we will not support him and I’m sure I would have the backing of the FA board on that.”

Dyke added that if there was any finding of wrongdoing by the investigations into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups he was convinced there would have to be a re-vote.

”I have no doubt if the evidence comes out that a bid was won by corruption there will have to be a re-vote,” he said.

UEFA said Platini ”will not perform his official duties for the time being”.

He did not attend the meeting of the UEFA executive committee on Thursday and has cancelled several official trips.