'I no longer fight for FIFA, I fight for myself' - Blatter

SoccerNet Nigeria
Banned FIFA president, Joseph Sepp Blatter has given up on FIFA, and only wants to clear his reputation in the wake of corruption charges leveled against him by the world governing body.

The respected football administrator feels “abandoned” by the global football body and will now focus on clearing his name, the 79-year-old Swiss told German magazine Bunte. FIFA’s watchdog last week banned Blatter and UEFA boss Michel Platini for eight years for ethics violations. Both men immediately denied any wrongdoing and said they would appeal to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“I now no longer fight for FIFA,” Blatter, who led football’s governing body for 17 years, said according to a preview of an interview with Bunte. “They abandoned me. I am now only fighting for myself and my honour.”

Blatter had come out swinging against the ban, holding a news conference to tell reporters that he was sorry only that the president of FIFA was being treated as a “punching ball”, adding: “I will fight for me and I will fight for FIFA.”

He told Bunte that he was re-energised by the “false claims” against him. “After Christmas I will start to fight back,” Blatter said. The inquiry by FIFA’s ethics committee began after the Swiss attorney general’s office opened criminal proceedings against Blatter over a 2 million Swiss franc (£1.36 million) payment to Platini in 2011.

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