Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter has seemingly called it quits after saying, “I’ve finished my work in football.”
Blatter’s comments come after he confirmed he would appeal his eight-year ban from football, a suspension handed down by the FIFA ethics committee Monday as a result of an alleged “disloyal payment” in 2011.
The 79-year-old and UEFA counterpart Michel Platini both received bans of eight years, though the former could not demonstrate “a legal basis for this payment” to the Frenchman four years ago.
Blatter was defiant following the verdict, which he labeled “unjust” while questioning the validity of the judgment under Swiss law.
But in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in Zurich on Tuesday, the outgoing president said: “I’ve finished my work in football. I lost faith in our organization on May 27 with this intervention by American law enforcement. And the same day it presented FIFA as a mafia-type organization. I spent 40 years at FIFA. It doesn’t bother me to talk about the past, because the past was more brilliant for me than the future.”
Along with the eight-year ban, Blatter was fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,000) compared to Platini’s 80,000.
“He’s a little more expensive than I am,” Blatter said. “But this is nonsense. According to Swiss law, to suspend someone for eight years, you must have committed a murder or a bank robbery.”
Blatter also touched on Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, which has been tarnished by allegations of corruption.
The United States was initially preferred by Blatter and Platini until the latter reportedly changed his mind and backed Qatar following an alleged meeting with then-France president Nicolas Sarkozy and Qatari officials.
Of Platini, Blatter claimed: “[He said], ‘Careful. If we vote for Qatar, the next day everyone will say that FIFA sold itself out.’ He told me that. And then a week later, he says something changed. Since I’ve been at FIFA, the World Cup has always been allocated on the recommendation — if not more — of governments.”