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Humiliated Blatter says only FIFA Congress can bar him

Comparing himself to a state president, Sepp Blatter says Ethics Committee does not have power to bar him from office

Published: Updated:

Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Wednesday he believes that only the Congress of football’s governing body, and not its Ethics Committee, can bar him from office.

Comparing himself to a state president, Blatter told Swiss broadcaster SRF: “If one wants to revoke an elected president, only parliament can ask for that.”

In a tense interview, Blatter declined to comment on whether FIFA’s ethics investigators had recommended he be handed a life ban, as they had with European football boss Michel Platini.

Blatter and Platini, engulfed by a deepening corruption scandal as the sport faces criminal probes in Switzerland and the United States, have both been suspended for 90 days by the FIFA ethics committee while it investigates their conduct.

Blatter, who is standing down in February after agreeing to lay down his mandate, criticized the Ethics Committee, which he had previously trumpeted as a key weapon in the battle against corruption.

“I’m not a FIFA official, I’m the elected president of the Congress,” he said. “If one does not agree with the way I do my job, one has to turn to the congress that elected me,” he said.

The FIFA presidential election is held every year and the 209 member federations each hold one vote.

Blatter also faces a criminal investigation in Switzerland over a 2 million Swiss franc ($2 million) payment from FIFA to Platini.