Zurich: Former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter on Friday criticised the media for its alleged bias against him amidst the worst corruption controversy to hit world football.
“What I regret is the way the media moved in to kill me from the get-go,” Blatter was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Friday.
“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.”
The suspended FIFA president, whose successor will be chosen at an extraordinary congress on February 26, also said that his friends and confidants have now left him in his hour of crisis.
“This departure that they’re preparing for me, it’s very sad, very sad,” he said.
“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, (the also-suspended UEFA president) Michel Platini by my side.”
The 79-year-old also chose to stand on a previous statement he had made in an interview saying the situation happened at FIFA as the World Cup 2022 did not go to the United States.
“World Cups are not awarded because of payments, they’re awarded in relation to political interventions,” he said.
“The European group, that had agreed to the tacit deal that the World Cup should go to the US (United States), changed its vote after France’s political intervention. So to answer your question, if (the World Cup) had gone to the US, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”