Sepp Blatter’s soccer ban is treating him well. Last month the former FIFA president was barred from soccer for eight years owing to ethics violations, but according to Reuters, FIFA will pay an estimated $2.5 million to Blatter between December 21 and February 26, despite his ban. “Punching ball,” indeed.
Blatter landed in hot water with officials last fall when it came to light that he’d approved a fishy $2 million payment to Union of European Football Associations president Michel Platini just before running for reelection. (The UEFA, unsurprisingly, backed him.) In a December press conference, he said he was deeply “sorry for football” and for “how I’m treated in this world”; he did not apologize for the multi-million-euro paycheck he’d collect for sitting on the sidelines.
Andreas Bantel, a FIFA spokesman, said that cutting Blatter off would violate the terms of his contract. So he’ll stay on the payroll until a new president is elected on February 26, which means he’ll be compensated for five months of nothing — about $2.5 million, if his estimated $6 million annual salary is accurate. In other words, Blatter is now a professional DNB, of whom Ronda Rousey and Beyoncé would not approve.
These sorts of flukes are not altogether uncommon — witness Bobby Bonilla, who as a 72-year-old in 2035 will still be drawing a $1.19 million salary for not playing with the Mets, or the dozens of New York teachers who get their regular pay to stay well away from students. Maybe they can start an investment circle with the 2,300 or so farmers the U.S. government still pays not to grow crops.