The former boss of the world body settles his accounts in a book to appear Thursday, following the “FIFAgate”. He points out the maneuvers that led, according to him, to his setting aside.
On Tuesday, he had a health alert and must be hospitalized this Wednesday morning in a private clinic in Zurich, before scheduled cardiac exams Friday. Sepp Blatter weakened and had to cancel at the last moment his media tour in France. It was supposed to start on Thursday, day of release of its book. It is entitled My truth, which means that it is only his, especially on the ardent subjects. Swept by “FIFAgate” in 2015, Sepp Blatter (82) gives his version of the facts about the huge corruption scandal that has rocked the International Federation, which he led for seventeen years.
Suspended six years of any activity related to football for a disputed payment of 2 million Swiss francs (€ 1.8 million) to Michel Platini, Blatter is also the subject of criminal proceedings of the Swiss judiciary since September 2015, for suspicion of “unfair management” and “breach of trust”. His story begins with the police cordon of the Hotel Baur au Lac, three years ago, described as “an attack against FIFA”, and ends with the sentence: “I do not regret anything.” He pushes all guilt, considering himself a victim of “trust in others”. We met the octogenarian last Wednesday in Zurich, for two hours, at Pier 61, a restaurant stalled at the lake. Another kind of exile; before his fall, Blatter had his habits at Sonnenberg, the luxury canteen of FIFA, located on the heights of the city. He was made to understand that he had to go down again: he is definitely no longer welcome at this table.
“What is your life like in Zurich?
I have been living here since 1975 (the year he arrived at the headquarters of the International Federation) but I did not live there very much. I traveled a lot and had a part of my family in Valais (his home region in Switzerland). I have not had the right to make derogatory remarks. They approach me and say hello; there are footballers or strangers who recognize me. I’m invited to the left and right. I talk about football, ice hockey or the economy. And I intervene in seniors’ clubs.