Sepp Blatter Says The Media Tried To “Kill” Him During His PresidencyPhoto by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Soccer News Sepp Blatter
Spoiler alert: he didn’t mean it literally. (Probably.)
A week before FIFA holds its election to replace him, disgraced president Sepp Blatter spoke to French network BFMTV about the end of his time in office and what regrets he may or may not have. So you know this is going to be good.
In the interview (we’re taking the English translation from The Guardian), Blatter swiped at a sporting press that he claims were a little too eager to go after him:
What I regret is the way the media moved in to kill me from the get-go. This condemnation of the Fifa president by the media when I was not responsible for the actions of the members of the executive committee since I am not the one who elected them … My regret is, maybe, that we didn’t take the necessary measures to avoid having members of the Fifa executive committee who hadn’t passed the integrity test.
He went on to say that his allies deserted him in the wake of the scandal, leaving him to defend FIFA by himself against both his political enemies and a media cohort that was apparently out to get him.
You suddenly find yourself in a situation where you don’t have the means to defend yourself and you don’t have any friends left. You are isolated, you are alone even if, during this whole operation, I had a great footballer, [suspended UEFA chief] Michel Platini by my side.
Blatter also reiterated that the corruption scandal and the criminal investigation would likely never have happened if the 2022 World Cup was awarded to the US and not Qatar. Putting the conspiracy theory flavor text aside, by continuing to insist that the US is only investigating corruption because they weren’t successfully bribed into compliance. If that’s true, it means that FIFA was, in part, in the business of buying people off. That’s some impressive doublespeak.
The extraordinary congress will convene next Friday in Zürich and a new FIFA president will be chosen. Yet if interviews like these are any indication, Blatter won’t be going away anytime soon.