Newly re-elected FIFA president Sepp Blatter has launched an attack on the U.S justice system and UK media, claiming that they want him out of power.
The 79-year-old incredibly claimed that the timing of the arrests of FIFA officials on corruption charges was motivated by revenge.
Blatter is set to be questioned by authorities in the World Cup corruption probe, and he has denied being the unnamed high ranking official who authorised the payment of a $10 million bribe to former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.
After being re-elected as head of FIFA for a fifth term, Blatter rounded on his enemies and ominously said, “I forgive but I don’t forget”.
He turned on his accusers and claimed that the timing of the raid by the Swiss police, who have been co-operating with a long-running FBI investigation, was designed to remove him from office.
The police arrested seven senior Fifa executives on Wednesday, including vice-presidents Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo. This prompted a renewed wave of calls for reform in FIFA and for Sepp Blatter’s resignation.
Blatter though isn’t going anywhere yet and said that the arrests and charges – which accused a total of 18 executives of 47 counts of money laundering, racketeering and tax evasion linked to kickbacks totalling more than $150 million over two generations – were timed to damage his chances of re-election.
No-one is going to tell me that it was a simple coincidence, this American attack two days before the elections of Fifa. It doesn’t smell right. This has touched me and Fifa. There are signs that cannot be ignored. The Americans were the candidates for the World Cup of 2022 and they lost. The English were the candidates for 2018 and they lost, so it was really the English media and the American movement.Advertisement
U.S authorities, however, have pointed out that the reason for the timing of the raid was to precede the FIFA congress in the knowledge that would be when all the accused delegates were in Zurich.
At a press conference, a defiant Blatter said he was unafraid of arrest, which is good because it’s surely only a matter of time at this stage.
It really is incredible what this guy will say and do to cling to power. Football will be a better place once he’s gone, as far as we’re concerned.