FIFA president Sepp Blatter was suspended Thursday for 90 days by an ethics committee.
The suspension comes less than two weeks after Swiss attorneys opened a criminal investigation against Blatter. He is charged with possible involvement in a $2 million payment in 2011 to Michel Platini, the head of the Union of European Football Association.
FIFA said Blatter is not permitted to represent the organization in any capacity.
But Mr. Blatter’s lawyers say the FIFA committee failed to follow its own rules by not letting him give evidence. They also say the suspension was based on a "misunderstanding" of the case presented by the Swiss.
Issa Hayatou will serve as acting FIFA president. He served as the head of the Confederation of African Football for many years. He was once punished for misconduct by the International Olympic Committee.
The ethics committee also gave a 90-day suspension to FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke. In addition, the committee banned former vice president Chung Mong-joon for six years and imposed a $100,000 fine.
In May, 14 FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland. They were charged in the United States with nearly 50 counts of corruption. Swiss officials have opened a separate criminal investigation involving the selection of Russia and Qatar as hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
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This story was reported by VOA News. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
Words in This Story
ethics - n. rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad
misconduct - n. wrong behavior; behavior or activity that is illegal or morally wrong