“I am still the president” – Read Sepp Blatter’s strong reaction to 8 year football ban
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has responded to his 8year ban from football by FIFA’s Independent Ethics Committee after the committee said he wrongfully paid 2million Swiss francs (£1.35m) to Michel Platini in 2011.
Despite the pair’s protests that they did nothing wrong when Blatter paid the former UEFA president the money nine years after both men claimed it was originally due, Blatter was fined 50,000 Swiss francs or £34,000 and Platini 80,000 Swiss francs or £54,000 in addition to being banned.
Speaking at a press conference this morning in Zurich where he spoke German, English, French and Spanish in the space of five minutes, 79 year old Blatter wearing a plaster on his face, claimed that he was a victim, that he remains president of FIFA and that he will take his case to the court of arbitration for sport.
“To say that it is a good day for me or for FIFA, it would be totally wrong” Blatter said.
“You can identify me as an optimist. Together with a Swiss lawyer, we thought that we had convinced the panel, with Mr Eckert in the chair, about the situation with the payment. We thought that we were in a situation that was clear, with a clean sheet.
“We had a or*l contract, a gentleman’s agreement. This was made in 1998 after the World Cup. What astonished me now when I talk about the decision today is that they deny the existence of such an agreement. This agreement was confirmed by two meetings. We have the proof that this agreement existed.
“Therefore the 2m Swiss francs paid to Platini went through the finance committee, the executive committee and was done in good terms. This is a donation. This is a gift. We avoided the issue of corruption. We did this because this arrangement was in the Fifa books. You can have or*l contracts. Once again we go to the appeal committee. We go to Cas, the court of arbitration for sport. There might have been an administrative error, but this was nothing to do with the ethics. This cannot be proven. If it cannot be proven, then it cannot be guilty.”
Blatter continued to defend himself, making reference to the late Nelson Mandela.
“I will fight,” he added. “I will fight for me and I will fight for Fifa. Suspended for what? I spoke with my lawyer this morning and we were not surprised that the notification was made first to the media. This committee has no right to go against the president of Fifa. The president can only be removed by the congress. Even suspended, I am still the president. I regret, but I am not ashamed.
“I’m really sorry. I’m sorry that I am still somewhere a punching ball. As president of Fifa, I’m still this punching ball. I’m sorry for Fifa. I’m sorry for football. I’m also sorry about me. How I am treated in this world.
“Human beings needs to be respected. It has created a lot of collateral damage in the families. My family was mocked. I regret I am this punching bag. FIFA is still working well, I congratulate Barcelona to winning the Club World Cup. I am a man of principles. These principles are: never take money that is not earned. Secondly, pay your debts. I’ll be back”