Updated 3:57 p.m. ET
The turmoil surrounding beleaguered FIFA President Sepp Blatter continues to churn.
On Wednesday, Blatter reportedy was told he is facing a provisional 90-day suspension, with a final decision from the FIFA ethics committee expected later this week.
The BBC quotes Blatter’s adviser Klauss Stohlker as saying, “The news was communicated to the president this afternoon. He is calm. Remember he is the father of the ethics committee.”
However, Blatter’s lawyers say he has not been notified of any action taken by the ethics committee, per Reuters.
In response to the reports of Blatter’s provisional suspension, his lawyers Lorenz Erni and Richard Cullen said they “would expect that the ethics committee would want to hear from the president and his counsel, and conduct a thorough review of the evidence, before making any recommendation to take disciplinary action.”
News of the possible suspension follows the announcement that Switzerland has begun criminal proceedings against Blatter. It also comes less than a week after major FIFA sponsors called for his immediate resignation.
As we previously reported:
“Blatter is accused of making a ‘disloyal payment’ of 2 million Swiss francs to Platini in 2011 for work Platini performed between 1999 and 2002. The New York Times notes that the payment was made ‘three months before Mr. Blatter won a fourth term as FIFA president’ in June 2011.
“The statement from Swiss authorities also alleges that Blatter signed a contract with the Caribbean Football Union, of which Jack Warner was president at the time, that ‘violated his fiduciary duties and acted against the interest of FIFA.'”
Blatter has repeatedly denied any misconduct.
Also on Wednesday, FIFA presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon of South Korea announced his intention to sue Blatter for at least $100 million for what he called the damage he inflicted on FIFA over his 40-year career, including 17 years as president of the organization.
” ‘Mr. Blatter is a hypocrite and a liar,’ Chung, a member of the FIFA executive committee until 2011, said in a speech in London. ‘I plan to sue Mr. Blatter on his embezzlement in court.’
“Chung said his legal action would be launched in the Swiss courts, and pledged to return any damages to FIFA.
” ‘My understanding is the amount of money I can claim against President Blatter is in proportion to the amount of damage he inflicted on FIFA,’ Chung said.
“Some of that damage, according to Chung, is Blatter being paid an undisclosed salary which was not approved by the FIFA executive committee.”
Chung himself, however, is the subject of an ethics committee investigation related to allegations of tampering with the process to award the 2022 World Cup. He faces a 19-year suspension if found guilty, although he has denied any wrongdoing and characterizes the probe as an attempt to discredit his candidacy for FIFA president.