Blatter suggests he may escape life ban

Blatter suggests he may escape life ban
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Published December 21st, 2015 - 00:22 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini were suspended in October in connection with a
Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini were suspended in October in connection with a "disloyal payment"

Joseph Blatter may escape a life ban from football as the suspended FIFA president was quoted as saying he will not face corruption sanctions from the ethics committee in a ruling set for Monday.

Blatter told Swiss Sunday paper SonntagsBlick that ethics committee adjudicatory chamber chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert said to him at a hearing Thursday that "we will omit the allegation of corruption."

Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini were suspended in October in connection with a "disloyal payment" of 2 million dollars Platini received in 2011 for FIFA work done between 1998 and 2002.

Both men protest their innocence and while admitting that there was no written contract they say they had a verbal agreement.

The pair is said to face life bans if found guilty of corruption; or bans over several years in the case of conflict of interest. The investigatory chamber has demanded sanctions in its reports on the top officials.

The ruling is to be published between 0900 and 1000 GMT Monday.

If sanctioned, Blatter and Platini are set to appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Blatter was heard for eight hours Thursday by the adjudicatory chamber, naming Eckert "very correct" during the session.

Platini chose not to attend his hearing Friday, saying through his lawyers that he feels pre-judged and that the case is a political one to undermine his running for the FIFA presidency.

If cleared, Blatter plans to lay down his mandate at an extraordinary FIFA congress on February 26.

Blatter told SonntagsBlick he and his family have been mobbed over the past weeks and months as apart from his own case FIFA has been battered by various corruption affairs, with top officials arrested in a United States-led probe, and Swiss authorities investigating as well.

"FIFA is currently without leadership, it badly needs a new leadership," Blatter said.

Blatter also reiterated that he was close to death when he was hospitalised in the wake of the suspension.

"My immune system broke down, I colloapsed. Luckily the brain and heart always worked, my brain fought death," he said. "But I never saw angels and the devil. I don't believe in hell anyway, only in heaven."

# Notebook

## Internet links - [SonntagsBlick report, German](http://dpaq.de/acKNN)

* * * * The following information is not intended for publication

## Editorial contacts - Reporting by: Ralf Jarkowski, John Bagratuni - Editing by: John Bagratuni - Tel: +49-30-285231472;

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