SEPP Blatter is facing the prospect of a humiliating end to his controversial reign as Fifa president after being told he has been recommended for a 90-day provisional suspension by Fifa’s ethics committee.
Klaus Stohlker, a friend and adviser to Mr Blatter, said ethics investigators had recommended a 90-day suspension but that the head of the adjudicatory chamber, German judge Joachim Eckert, has yet to make a final decision.
Fifa’s ethics committee has been meeting this week to discuss whether Mr Blatter and Michel Platini should be provisionally suspended.
Mr Stohlker said: “I have spoken to Mr Blatter three minutes ago. He is still the president. These are times of trouble for him of course but he is feeling strong and confident.
“There is no suspension active. President Blatter was told he could be suspended for 90 days.
“The first floor [investigatory chamber] has taken the decision today – they have taken the decision. That’s why the second [adjudicatory chamber] needs to take the decision. We do not know when that second decision will be taken.”
Mr Blatter and Mr Platini are being investigated by Swiss prosecutors and the ethics committee over a Sf2 million (£1.35m) payment signed off by Fifa president Mr Blatter to Uefa president Mr Platini.
Mr Blatter has had criminal proceedings opened against him by the Swiss attorney general over the case and for allegedly selling World Cup TV rights to former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner for 20 times below their true value.
Mr Platini’s status was described by attorney general Michael Lauber as being between “a witness and an accused person”. A provisional suspension of Mr Platini by the ethics committee would throw the contest to succeed Mr Blatter into chaos as the Frenchman was the favourite.
The Platini payment being investigated was made in February 2011 for work he carried out as Mr Blatter’s technical adviser between 1999 and 2002.
Senegal’s former sports minister Abdoulaye Diop, a member of the ethics committee, said the cases of Mr Blatter, Mr Platini and Fifa presidential hopeful Chung Mong-Joon would be dealt with this week – the meetings are due to last until tomorrow.