October 9, 2015 / 6:54 AM / 2 years ago

Sepp Blatter appeals against FIFA suspension

ZURICH (Reuters) - Sepp Blatter has filed an official appeal against his suspension from soccer by FIFA’s ethics committee, his friend and former public relations adviser Klaus Stoehlker said on Friday.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter reacts before the first game of the so-called "Sepp Blatter tournament" in Blatter's home-town Ulrichen, Switzerland, August 22, 2015. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Blatter, the Swiss who has been president of the global soccer body FIFA since 1998, was suspended on Thursday by the association’s ethics committee. The 79-year-old is currently facing a Swiss criminal investigation.

“He has appealed. He wants to go on until the congress on Feb. 26 and he is not giving up early,” Stoehlker told Reuters.

Stoehlker, who has been issuing information on behalf of Blatter since FIFA stopped handling his media affairs on Sept. 30, said Blatter had left FIFA headquarters at midnight on Thursday.

Blatter’s appeal will go to the FIFA Appeals Committee, headed by Larry Mussenden of Bermuda.

The New York Times said it had obtained a copy of Blatter’s appeal against the suspension.

In it, the paper reported that Blatter was objecting to brusque and unfair treatment. Blatter’s legal team also demanded to see the ethics committee’s case file and sought a hearing to argue their case in full.

Blatter’s lawyers in Switzerland and the United States did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the report.

In the immediate aftermath of the suspension, Blatter’s lawyers said in a statement that he was looking forward to presenting evidence that would prove he had not engaged in any misconduct.

The Swiss attorney general’s office said on Sept. 25 that it had opened a criminal investigation into Blatter concerning a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.08 million) from FIFA to Michel Platini in 2011, and a Caribbean television rights deal.

Blatter told a German magazine this week that the Swiss criminal investigation against him was “not correct”.

($1 = 0.9605 Swiss francs)

Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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