Blatter out of hospital, confidant tells Reuters TV

Published 11/12/2015, 1:44 PM EST
FIFA President Sepp Blatter (R) speaks with UEFA President Michel Platini at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland, in this May 29, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/Files


By Marina Depetris

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ZURICH (Reuters) – Suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter, whose world soccer federation is mired in a corruption crisis, has been discharged from hospital, his confidant and former publicist Klaus Stoehlker said on Thursday.

“He had to stay a few days in hospital but now he is out, he is at home in (the canton of) Valais. He is very happy and he is relaxing a few days until the beginning of next week and then he will be back,” Stoehlker told Reuters TV in an interview.

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“He’s recovering very fast.”

Blatter, who last month was suspended for 90 days by FIFA’s Ethics Committee pending a full investigation into his conduct, had been in hospital since Friday, when his U.S.-based lawyer, Richard Cullen, said the Swiss national had been admitted for a checkup.

Under the terms of the suspension, Blatter, 79, who has been the FIFA president since 1998, is not allowed into the FIFA headquarters or any football stadium in an official capacity.

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Blatter won a fifth election mandate in May just after the graft scandal erupted with police raids on a hotel used by top FIFA officials. Four days later, as pressure mounted, he called a new Congress, in Zurich in February, to choose his successor.

In September, the Swiss attorney general’s office initiated criminal proceedings against Blatter over a 2 million Swiss franc ($2.1 million) payment from FIFA to UEFA President Michel Platini, who has also been suspended.

Both men have denied wrongdoing and have appealed to FIFA’s Appeal Committee. Blatter has said he still hopes to take part in the Congress in February and Platini still intends to be a candidate in the presidential election that month.

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(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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