• Switzerland's news in English
Fifa scandal
'Interim chief should replace Blatter': lawyer
Swiss lawyer Mark Pieth thinks former German FA chief Theo Zwanziger, above, would be the ideal interim Fifa president. Photo: Michael Buholzer/AFP

'Interim chief should replace Blatter': lawyer

AFP · 27 Sep 2015, 20:15

Published: 27 Sep 2015 20:15 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"It would be ideal to have a president who would step down after two years," Swiss criminal law professor Mark Pieth, who previously headed Fifa's independent governance committee, told Swiss broadcaster SRF.

What was needed was someone who could "come in now to allay fears and make reforms, before making room for someone who could preside for longer," he said, suggesting Theo Zwanziger, the former head of the German football association, was the best man for the interim job.

World football's governing body has been shaken to its core by the corruption scandal that on Friday reached the highest echelons when Swiss investigators turned their attention to Blatter and his heir-apparent, UEFA chief Michel Platini.

Authorities said a criminal investigation had been opened against Blatter on suspicion of criminal mismanagement, while UEFA chief Platini, who had been favourite to win a February election to find a successor to Blatter, faced scrutiny over a murky two-million-dollar payment he received from the Fifa president in 2011.

Fifa's independent ethics committee was believed to have opened its own investigation, and the two most powerful men in football could potentially risk suspension.

Both have denied any wrongdoing and 79-year-old Blatter has given no indication he intends to leave before his scheduled departure in February.

But media was awash Sunday with speculation over how long the Fifa president of 17 years could hold on.

If Blatter leaves early, Cameroonian Fifa vice president Issa Hayatou would temporarily take the reins.

But Pieth told the SonntagsBlick weekly Hayatou was not suitable, since “he is also a member of System Blatter", pointing out that the Cameroonian himself had been accused of corruption and conflict of interest in the past.

Instead, he said, Fifa needed a "transitional president who did not grow up within the system, and who has not profited from the system."

Story continues below…

The 70-year-old Zwanziger, he said, would be perfect, since he had long been a powerful critic of Fifa's decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, widely criticized for its record on workers' rights.

The 2011 decision to hand the tournament to Qatar is a major element in corruption allegations engulfing Fifa.

"If Theo Zwanziger is chosen — as I hope he will be — as a two-year interim president, he will block Qatar for labour-law reasons," Pieth said.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Police arrest brother of ‘murdered’ Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
File photo: The Local

The cow was at risk of drowning after falling into the private pool.

Uefa Champions League
Basel 'ready for battle' in Champions League clash
Basel training in Paris. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

Swiss champions Basel fancy their chances of springing a surprise when they face Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Burst pipe causes major flood in Lausanne
The water flooded Place de la Riponne in Lausanne. File photo: Swiss Tourism/Christof Schuerpf

Water rushed down the streets after a pipe burst in the city centre.

Outcry after ‘neo-Nazi’ music festival held on Swiss soil
The village of Unterwasser was the tranquil location for the festival. Photo: Swiss Tourism

Should police have intervened?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available