Blatter, Platini and Valcke are suspended for 90 days by FIFA’s ethics committee. Blatter’s lawyers say he is “disappointed” the committee had not followed its own code in allowing him an opportunity to be heard.
[The suspension is based on] a misunderstanding of the actions of the attorney general in Switzerland. President Blatter looks forward to the opportunity to present evidence that will demonstrate that he did not engage in any misconduct, criminal or otherwise.
Valcke says the suspension is “farcical” and based on “based on mere semblances”:
I refuse to believe this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the Fifa presidency.
UEFA says it has full confidence in Platini and will not remove him from duties while the FIFA suspension is ongoing.
The Swiss attorney general’s office says announces criminal proceedings against Blatter, saying he is suspected of criminal mismanagement or misappropriation over a TV rights deal he signed with Warner, the former Caribbean football chief in 2005. Blatter is also suspected of ‘a disloyal payment’ against FIFA of two million Swiss francs to UEFA president Platini in 2011. Platini is the favourite to succeed Blatter. Under Swiss law, a payment is classified disloyal if it is against the best interest of the employer. Blatter’s offices are raided, and he is interrogated in the afternoon, after chairing a meeting of FIFA’s executive committee.
UEFA says the top eight seeds in the competition will be the holders plus the champions of the top seven ranked UEFA nations. Platini hopes the new rules will stop the domestic champions in the major European leagues being ranked lower than the other clubs from nations. The plan will take effect next season.