Blatter, in a dramatic interview with Swiss TVon Wednesday, compared himself to a head-of-state who could only be removed by parliament. He claimed that it was only the FIFA Congress, consisting of the 209 national football associations who each hold one vote, which has the power to oust him.
However, Andreas Bantel, spokesman for the Ethics Committee, told Reuters on Thursday that Blatter was not above their sanction powers. “The FIFA code of ethics applies to anyone who is involved in football worldwide and there are absolutely no exceptions whatsoever.”
Blatter has been suspended for 90 days alongside UEFA President, Michel Platini, over deepening corruption scandal plaguing the world’s global football governing body which are subjects of criminal investigations in Switzerland and the United States.
FIFA’s Ethics Committee is investigating their conduct and they could face a much longer suspensions when the final verdict in the case is announced, probably in December.
Blatter also faces a criminal investigation in Switzerland over a 2 million Swiss franc ($1.95 million) payment from FIFA to Platini in 2011 for work completed by the Frenchman nine years earlier.
Platini, who had been favourite to replace Blatter at the next election in February, has been barred from the FIFA presidential race because of his ban, although he could be allowed back in if he wins an appeal.
By Olisemeka Obeche (with agency reports)