Blatter presents his defence before FIFA Ethics Committee….

Sepp Blatter claimed he “did not violate FIFA’s code of ethics” as the suspended president made his defence to the ethics committee of world football’s governing body on Thursday. The Swiss, 79, is under investigation on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of funds at FIFA, but denies any wrongdoing. He was suspended on 8 October from all football-related activity for 90 days. UEFA chief Michel Platini was banned too – his case will be heard on Friday. “President Blatter looks forward to a decision in his favour, because the evidence requires it,” Blatter’s lawyer Richard Cullen said in a statement. “The evidence demonstrates that President Blatter behaved properly and certainly did not violate FIFA’s code of ethics. This investigation should be closed and the suspension lifted.” The adjudicatory committee intends to announce its verdicts before Christmas, with announcements possible as early as Monday. FIFA is investigating allegations that a £1.35m payment was made in 2011 for work Platini did as Blatter’s adviser. There was no written contract for the payment for the consultation work, which Platini received nine years later. The pair could face seven-year bans from football if found guilty of corruption claims.

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