Sepp Blatter on FIFA raids: “Even God had abandoned me”

AP
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Ahead of Friday’s FIFA Presidential election in Zurich, disgraced former president Sepp Blatter, 79, has been speaking about how he felt when police raids occurred just days before the 2015 FIFA Presidential election.

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Swiss authorities — working on behalf of the FBI and the U.S. government — stormed a luxury hotel in Zurich and FIFA’s headquarters which led to the arrest of more than a dozen high-ranking officials just 48 hours before the last presidential election which Blatter ultimately won to seal a fifth-straight four-year term in charge of world soccer’s governing body.

However, the Swiss official has since announced his decision to resign as president after 17 years in charge and the latest FIFA presidential election will take place in Zurich on Friday — the five candidates to succeed Blatter are Gianni Infantino, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Tokyo Sexwale, Sheikh Salman of Bahrain and Jerome Champagne — with a new man at the helm by the end of this week.

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In an interview with L’Equipe in France, Blatter has retold his accounts of the early morning raids on the Baur au Lac hotel and FIFA HQ on May 27, 2015 just two days before the last presidential election took place.

“The breaking point in my life, the day I would like to forget,” Blatter said. “That day I said to myself ‘Even God has abandoned me.’ When something like that falls on you, it’s terrible.

And, true to form, despite currently being banned by FIFA for eight years after being found guilty by its ethics committee of a payment made between himself and UEFA President Michel Platini, Blatter spoke of his innocence.

“I don’t know why they would have come for me, but yes, I was scared, even physically,” Blatter said. “Anyway, this kind of police raid is done to scare people.”

Yes Sepp, it’s done to scare people but also to arrest them amid numerous counts of bribery and corruption alleged against them.

It’s funny (and sad) that, even after all that’s gone on, Blatter still hasn’t quite grasped the severity of the situation he’s left FIFA in.