August 3 – Sepp Blatter has been quick to call for his successor, Gianni Infantino, to be suspended by FIFA after criminal proceedings were opened against the latter in Switzerland last week.
Swiss authorities said proceedings had been launched against the current FIFA boss by special prosecutor Stefan Keller, who is looking into meetings Infantino had with Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber.
Lauber is resigning at the end of this month and Blatter, who is still serving his own FIFA ban and who has long held a grudge against Infantino, says the present incumbent should be forced to step down too.
“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,” Blatter said in a statement to Reuters.
Blatter too is the subject of criminal proceedings in Switzerland, in his case over that notorious CHF 2 million “disloyal payment” he authorised to be paid to then UEFA president and FIFA vice president Michel Platini in 2011 which led to long bans for both of them. That investigation is still ongoing but Blatter has not been charged.
The ban on Platini, once the favourite to succeed Blatter, ended his chances of leading FIFA and into the void stepped Infantino, who was elected as FIFA head in 2016, beating Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman. The Bahraini is senior vice-president of FIFA so would technically be in line to replace Infantino as interim FIFA president if Infantino was suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
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