Sepp Blatter expects to attend next month’s FIFA presidential election even though he is still likely to be banned from football.
Blatter’s spokesman, Thomas Renggli, told The Associated Press on Friday that the suspended FIFA president “should be present at the congress.”
Blatter and his lawyers believe FIFA rules mean only the 209 member federations who elect a president can formally remove one and also bar him from attending proceedings.
“Only the congress, according to the statutes, can put Mr. Blatter out of his mandate,” Renggli said.
Renggli also outlined the legal timetable for Blatter to challenge his ban by the FIFA ethics committee.
Blatter is scheduled return to FIFA headquarters on February 16 for an appeal committee hearing, and an immediate ruling is expected. However, if the appeal panel confirms Blatter’s ban, it could take weeks to write the detailed verdict, Renggli said.
The FIFA ethics committee banned Blatter last month for a range of charges, including conflict of interest in approving a 2 million Swiss franc payment of FIFA money for Michel Platini in 2011.
Platini, who had been the favourite to succeed Blatter, was also banned for eight years. The election for the new FIFA president will take place in Zurich on February 26.
A total of 41 individuals and entities, including many former FIFA officials, have been charged with corruption-related offences in the United States as part of the wide-ranging scandal.