Sepp Blatter has said American law enforcement agencies only targeted FIFA because the United States missed out on hosting the 2022 World Cup.
The outgoing president of world football’s governing body is continuing to fight accusations of corruption during his time in office and is contesting the eight-year ban imposed on him by FIFA’s ethics committee.
Blatter, 79, has had to address concerns over the decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup.The Swiss said no votes were bought but argued that then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy had put pressure on UEFA president Michel Platini to back Qatar ahead of the United States.“If we voted as planned for the United States, the Americans would have had no reason to attack FIFA because they would have had their World Cup,” Blatter told L’Equipe.
“And I would have finished the last four years of my mandate peacefully.”Blatter announced his resignation shortly after several FIFA officials were arrested in Switzerland on suspicion of corruption last year.He said he felt “abandoned” and that “everything was collapsing” when the FBI raided a Zurich hotel on May 27 ahead of FIFA’s annual congress.
Blatter also questioned Platini’s motives after the Frenchman, who had been hoping to replace him as president but has also been banned, suggested before his re-election last May that he should not have been seeking another term.