Lawyer: Blatter in hospital for checkup but is 'fine'

ZURICH (AP) -- Sepp Blatter was in the hospital for a medical checkup Friday, his lawyer said, adding that the suspended FIFA president "expects to be home shortly."

Richard Cullen did not provide any further details, other than saying that Blatter is "fine."

His statement came shortly after Blatter's spokesman, Klaus Stoehlker, said the 79-year-old Swiss official was under "medical evaluation" for stress-related reasons and had been told by doctors to relax.

Stoehlker told The Associated Press that Blatter is "under a huge pressure" and had been told to rest until next Thursday or Friday.

Stoehlker said "the doctors told him to stay cool and relaxed for a few days, and that's what he's doing."

Both Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini were given 90-day bans in the wake of a Swiss criminal case investigating financial misconduct at FIFA. The criminal case centers on whether Blatter misused FIFA money by making a $2 million payment to Platini.

Blatter has appealed the suspension.

"There's not only, I think, the world's media who want to talk to him (Blatter), who are asking for him," Stoehlker said. "There are also many other pressure groups who have raised questions about him. ... He has so much to do with all these commissions, with all these lawyers. It's good for him to relax a few days under medical control."

The last six months have been the most turbulent period of Blatter's 17-year reign as FIFA president.

Blatter was re-elected as FIFA president on May 29, three days after a raid in Zurich by Swiss police resulted in seven officials being arrested and criminal proceedings being opened regarding "systematic and deep-rooted" corruption in soccer.

But on June 2, Blatter announced he would resign, saying that "FIFA needs a profound restructuring." After Swiss investigators raided his office and interrogated him, Blatter was suspended from all football related activities by the FIFA ethics committee on Oct. 8.

FIFA is set to hold a presidential election on Feb. 26 to appoint a successor to Blatter, who has said he hopes his suspension will be lifted by the time of the vote.