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Blatter in Hospital because of stress

Suspended Fifa president Sepp Blatter is in hospital after being placed under medical observation for stress, but he is expecting to leave the facility early next week, his spokesman said on Wednesday.

"He is now, at this moment, in hospital," Blatter's spokesman Klaus Stoehlker told AFP by phone, adding that Blatter was admitted several days ago.

"He is preparing to leave on Monday and will be back on the job on Tuesday," Stoehlker said.

The spokesman added that 79-year-old Blatter had "regained his good humour" and has vowed to persist with "his fight against the (Fifa) ethics committee" which suspended him for 90 days over corruption allegations.
"He said to me, 'I was elected Fifa president by 209 congress members and no (eth
ics) commission can force me out,'" Stoehlker quoted Blatter as saying.

Blatter, long the most powerful man in football, suffered a medical incident last weekend and had been placed under medical observation from his home.

Stoehlker previously said the stress-related ailment had been brought on by the pressure the embattled Swiss national has faced in recent weeks.

Blatter has been at the centre of the worst scandal to ever hit world football, which kicked off in May when 14 ex-Fifa official and sports marketing executives were charged by the US justice department over decades of graft and bribery.

Blatter was elected to a fifth term as Fifa's president days later, but he has since been engulfed by the scandal.

In September, Swiss prosecutors opened a criminal case against him over mismanagement and a suspicious $2 million payment made in 2011 to European football chief Michel Platini.

Before he was suspended, Blatter, who has been in charge of Fifa since 1998, said he would step down on February 26, next year, when a Fifa congress elects a new president.

Platini had been favoured to win the vote, but his suspension by Fifa's ethics committee is thought to have hurt his candidacy.

Seven candidates are in the running to succeed Blatter, including Platini.
Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Staff writter

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