Blatter lashes out at ethics Committee

By: TVNZ

 

imagesTaking a dictatorial approach to his role as FIFA president, Sepp Blatter lashed out at the ethics committee for being “against me” and criticized his 90-day ban as being “total nonsense.”

Blatter, who was suspended along with Michel Platini, made the comments during a wide-ranging and stinging interview published today by Russian state news agency Tass.

“And they wanted to say, ‘We, ethics committee, we are not at the service of the president, we are totally independent.’ This is wrong,” Blatter said in the interview.

“They can be independent but they don’t need to be against me.”

The longtime FIFA president also railed against several perceived enemies, including Platini, American authorities, the European Union and media in England and his native Switzerland.

“It’s total nonsense. This is not justice. I put these people into the office, where they are now in the ethics committee, and they don’t even have had the courage to listen to the secretary general, Platini or me,” Blatter said, also referring to the suspended Jerome Valcke.

The interview gave the clearest insight yet on his views since being suspended on Oct. 8 after a Swiss criminal investigation over a $2 million payment between Blatter and Platini.

It also highlighted his feud with Platini, whose chances of succeeding Blatter in the Feb. 26 emergency election have been damaged by his suspension.

Both deny wrongdoing and have appealed against their sanctions, but both face longer bans when the full ethics hearing is completed.

“Yeah, he started it, but then it became politics,” Blatter said of the former France captain, dating their falling out to 2008. “And when it is in politics, it is not any longer Platini against me.”

In another part of the interview, Blatter cited the World Cup hosting votes in 2010 as a turning point which unleashed criticism and scrutiny on FIFA, mainly because the United States didn’t win.

Russia won the right to host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar was awarded the 2022 tournament.

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