blatter slams ethics group
GENEVA — Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, the sport's governing body, lashed out at its ethics committee for being "against me" and criticized his 90-day ban as "total nonsense."
Blatter, 79, made the comments in a wide-ranging, stinging interview published Wednesday by Russian state news agency Tass.
"It's total nonsense. This is not justice. I put these people into the office, where they are now in the ethics committee, and they don't even have the courage to listen to the secretary general … or me," Blatter said, referring to suspended Jerome Valcke.
Blatter was suspended Oct. 8 after a Swiss criminal investigation over a $2 million payment between him and Michel Platini, suspended president of the European federation.
MORE SOCCER: The man in charge of organizing the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Jose Maria Marin, agreed to be extradited to the United States in the FIFA bribery case. … Seven men made the first cut to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president in the Feb. 26 election: Michel Platini, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Gianni Infantino, Tokyo Sexwale, Musa Bility, Jerome Champagne and Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa. FIFA's election panel will announce next month which ones have been officially accepted after integrity checks by the ethics committee. … Manchester United was eliminated from England's League Cup by second-tier Middlesbrough in a penalty shootout in the fourth round. Middlesbrough advanced 3-1 in the shootout after the game finished 0-0. Also, Manchester City eased to a 5-1 victory over Crystal Palace. … Host D.C. United beat the New England Revolution 2-1 in the knockout round of the MLS playoffs.
GYMNASTICS: Japan won its first men's world title in nearly 40 years, holding off surprising Great Britain and longtime rival China in a tense team final at Glasgow, Scotland. Kohei Uchimura, winner of the past five world all-around titles, clinched the gold medal despite a fall on high bar on the final routine of the night. Japan finished with 270.818 points to Great Britain by 0.473 points. Russia was fourth, followed by the United States, which saw its hopes for bronze fade on pommel horse, its final event.
TENNIS: Rafael Nadal was pushed to three sets again at the Swiss Indoors before beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round at Basel. Second-seeded Stan Wawrinka exited in the first round for the fourth straight year, beaten by Ivo Karlovic 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. Jack Sock won an all-American first-round match against Denis Kudla 6-4, 6-2. … Second-seeded Garbine Muguruza improved to 2-0 in group-stage matches at the WTA Finals by beating Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4 in Singapore. Fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova defeated Lucie Safarova 7-5, 7-5 for her first win in Singapore.