Sepp Blatter, former president of FIFA (International Federation of Association Football), has sought the suspension of Gianni Infantino, his successor, from the global soccer governing body following the criminal proceedings that were initiated against Infantino in Switzerland.
On Thursday, Swiss authorities said that criminal proceedings were launched against Infantino by a special prosecutor investigating the meeting the current FIFA boss had with Michael Lauber, Switzerland's Attorney General. However, Infantino and Lauber have denied engaging in any wrongdoings.
No Response From FIFA to Blatters Statement
The 84-year-old former FIFA head said in a statement to Reuters, "For me, the situation is clear, that the FIFA ethics committee has to open a case against Mr. Infantino and so it has to suspend him." No immediate reply to a request for a response on Blatter's statement was provided by FIFA.
Blatter, who was FIFA president for a period of 17 years, himself was suspended and later banned by FIFA's ethics committee after he became the subject of criminal proceedings in Switzerland in 2015. The investigation is still ongoing and Blatter, who has denied wrongdoing, has not been charged yet.
Blatter's Ban From FIFA
It centered on payment of two million Swiss francs ($2.2 million) made in 2011 to then Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) president Michel Platini with Blatter's approval for work the Frenchman had done a decade earlier.
Blatter was banned for eight years, reduced to six on appeal, and Platini also for eight years, reduced to four. Platini denied wrongdoing. The FIFA ethics committee is divided into an investigatory and adjudicatory chamber, which since 2017 have been headed by Colombian Maria Claudia Rojas and Greek Vassilios Skouris respectively. They replaced Swiss Cornel Borbely and German Hans-Joachim Eckert who were ousted when the decision-making FIFA Council decided not to renew their mandates.
(With inputs from agencies)