By Brian Homewood
ZURICH (Reuters) – Banned former FIFA president Sepp Blatter intends to ask the ethics committee of the global soccer body to reconsider his case and lift his six-year ban from the sport.
Blatter, who led FIFA for 17 years, was barred for ethics violations in 2015 amid the biggest corruption scandal to shake world soccer’s governing body.
The ban was imposed shortly after the Swiss attorney general’s office began criminal proceedings against him on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation. No charges have yet been brought and Blatter has denied wrongdoing.
“It is now two and a half years, this file has not moved,” Blatter told reporters, adding he had no indication how long the investigation would last. “It is like having the Sword of Damocles over my head because you never know what will happen.”
Blatter, who last month told Reuters he was considering legal action to clear his name, said he was now thinking of asking FIFA’s ethics committee to re-open his case.
“I am looking to have a solution also from the FIFA ethics committee to lift the suspension, which is a nonsense,” he said.
“I am also trying to see how we can change it. I hope to have a solution in the next three months before we open the World Cup in Russia.”
The Swiss attorney-general’s office could not immediately be reached for comment but in the past has said that such investigations can take several years.
Blatter also confirmed that he had been invited by President Vladimir Putin to attend the World Cup in Russia in June and July. “I’m honoured and I have accepted,” he said.
(Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)