Former FIFA president Blatter calls for Infantino to be suspended

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BERN (Reuters) – Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has called for his successor, Gianni Infantino, to be suspended by the global soccer body after criminal proceedings were opened against Infantino in Switzerland.

Swiss authorities said on Thursday that proceedings had been launched against the current FIFA boss by a special prosecutor looking into meetings he had with Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber. Lauber and Infantino have denied wrongdoing.

Blatter, who was FIFA president for 17 years, himself was suspended and later banned by FIFA’s ethics committee after he became the subject of criminal proceedings in Switzerland in 2015.

FIFA’s ethics committee would not comment on whether Infantino, who was elected in 2016, would face an internal investigation.

Blatter’s investigation is still ongoing. He has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged. It centred on payment of two million Swiss francs ($2.2 million) made in 2011 to then UEFA president Michel Platini with Blatter’s approval for work the Frenchman had done a decade earlier.

Blatter was banned for eight years, reduced to six on appeal, and Platini also for eight years, reduced to four. Platini denied wrongdoing.

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