In an official statement released by the ethics committee, it was noted that Blatter had violated the ethics code “by accepting and receiving extraordinary bonuses in the amount of CHF 23 million, signed, approved or implemented by Messrs Grondona, Valcke and Kattner, and by concomitantly approving/offering extraordinary bonuses in the total of approximately CHF 46 million for Messrs Valcke, Grondona and Kattner”.
For those not familiar with the situation, these payments were mostly focused on the 2010 World Cup (South Africa) and the 2014 World Cup (Brazil).
Blatter, now 85, made his own statement.
“This is a painful and incomprehensible blow on the neck,” Blatter said via his official spokesperson. “The ethics committee in its current form has nothing to do with an independent body – it is much more the extended arm of the FIFA president and not much more than a ‘parallel-justice.’”
Blatter had been president of FIFA from 1998 to 2015 before a US-led probe found deep levels of corruption. He was banned by the FIFA ethics committee in December 2015 for eight years.
“The investigations into Messrs Blatter and Valcke covered various charges, in particular concerning bonus payments in relation to FIFA competitions that were paid to top FIFA management officials, various amendments and extensions of employment contracts, as well as reimbursement by FIFA of private legal costs in the case of Mr Valcke,” the FIFA Ethics Committee added in the statement.