The former president of football’s governing body is ready to take the organisation to court
Currently serving a six-year ban from football following a corruption scandal in 2015, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has started a fresh legal battle with football’s governing body.
Speaking to the BBC, the 83-year-old revealed he is taking FIFA to court over “moral damage” and is after up to 60 watches that were confiscated by them.
After 17 years in charge of the governing body, Blatter was kicked out in 2015 after he was found to have made a payment to former UEFA boss Michel Platini – a fact both men continue to deny.
Incidentally, criminal proceedings were opened against him at the time in Switzerland but four years later and no charges have been made with Blatter adamant the situation needs a resolution with family a key concern for the former FIFA president.
“It’s four years, and nothing has happened, this case should be settled, because it’s a non-case,” Blatter told the BBC.
“There cannot be a charge, otherwise they would have done it a long time (ago), but I’m not so sure that this will come out now. I want to defend my rights, while I’m alive.
“I’ve not lost my fighting spirit. I’m living in peace now with myself (but) my family has suffered.
“They have suffered more than I have suffered. My granddaughter was mobbed in college when she was just 14 and she had to leave the college.”
As part of Blatter’s legal rebuttal, he has also claimed that FIFA have taken possession of his personal belongings.
Among the items alleged to have been taken, Blatter is particularly desperate to see around 60 watches of his returned.
“These are my watches, give me my watches,” he said.
“It’s important for me. I worked in the watch industry and I made my collection. Forty-one years they were [at FIFA], I could have taken them home a long time ago.
“Why are they fighting for these watches? There is no respect, there is no respect by the president.”
In response to Blatter’s claims, FIFA were quick to point out the man’s history.
“Mr Blatter is of course entitled to his opinions but, at the same time, it’s probably worthwhile remembering that these opinions and allegations come from a person who was banned from football for six years for engaging in unethical behaviour,” a FIFA spokesperson told BBC.
“In the meantime, we also understand that the Swiss authorities continue to investigate him for possible criminal misconduct and the new FIFA hopes these investigations come to a conclusion soon.
“Mr Blatter’s views and opinions should be seen in that context, and against the background of his own conduct in office over a period of decades.”
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