Leicester

Sepp Blatter stripped of De Montfort University degree

Blatter receiving degree De Montfort
Image caption Sepp Blatter was awarded the honorary doctorate in Arts and Humanities in 2005

Sepp Blatter has been stripped of an honorary degree by De Montfort University, it has been revealed.

The university in Leicester awarded the Fifa president, 79, the honorary doctorate in Arts and Humanities in 2005 for being "forthright, visionary, ethical and, above all, professional".

On Monday he was suspended for eight years from all football-related activities following an ethics probe.

De Montfort said it had "long been concerned" by allegations against him.

Fifa's ethics committee said Mr Blatter broke Fifa rules on conflicts of interest, breach of loyalty and offering or receiving gifts.

He was banned alongside Uefa boss Michel Platini over a conflict of interest surrounding a £1.3m ($2m) "disloyal payment" made to Platini in 2011, which is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.

Both men deny any wrongdoing.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Michel Platini (left) and Sepp Blatter deny any wrongdoing

The citation for Blatter's honorary degree said: "He is forthright, visionary, ethical and, above all, professional.

"It is these qualities which have driven the development of the sport to the international position it holds today."

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He was awarded it because of Fifa's support for De Montfort's course in management law and humanities of sport.

The university said it formally withdrew the degree in October, but has only revealed this now.

A spokesman said it had "long been concerned by the nature of the allegations" and "had been closely monitoring events at Fifa".

Image copyright Google
Image caption De Montfort said it withdrew his degree in October

Mr Blatter has vowed to appeal against the ban, and is ready to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if necessary.

He told a news conference in Zurich he was "sorry that I am still somewhere a punching ball".

Image copyright AP
Image caption Blatter sported a plaster over his cheek on Monday, the result of a non-serious medical procedure

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