Sepp Blatter has revealed that he has heard nothing from the U.S. Department of Justice over its ongoing investigation into corruption at FIFA.
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World soccer’s governing body was rocked to its core last May when U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Swiss authorities indicted 16 FIFA officials and many more businessmen involved in deals regarding broadcast and sponsorship of FIFA events.
Blatter, 80, has retired as FIFA’s president and a new man, Gianni Infantino, is in charge.
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However, the man who led FIFA for over 17 years is never far from the limelight and spoke to Sky Sports in the UK on Thursday as he launched his new book in Zurich.
Asked if he’d had any contact with U.S. officials regarding corruption at FIFA, Blatter said he’s heard nothing.
“Direct contact? No,” Blatter said. “They have asked the Swiss authorities to make some questions but I haven’t been questioned by neither one or the other organization so far.”
The Swiss official also denied any wrongdoing in a payment with former UEFA President Michel Platini — FIFA’s ethics committee has already banned Platini and Blatter for eight years each but they have gone to the the Court of Arbitration for Sports to appeal the ban — and being part of Jack Warner’s broadcast deals as the former FIFA vice-president is currently under arrest after being charged by U.S. authorities.
Blatter didn’t seem too willing to head to the U.S. anytime soon to answer any questions Lynch and the FBI may have.
“I am willing to cooperate with all the investigators, be it in the United States or here,” Blatter said. “But they cannot make an investigation here. I don’t need to go there but I am available.”
Speaking about his retirement from FIFA, Blatter said he feels relief but will continue to help the organization in legal battles wherever he can.
“For me the word retirement is not the right identification. I am no longer the President of FIFA. It was like a liberation for me and the stone had fallen down. There was no longer the president but I am still alive, I am still in a good mood. I am fighting for me and for my personal reputation. I am also fighting and defending FIFA in these different cases in different courts because they have asked me in some cases for testimony and in other cases for information. I do it because they think I can explain a little bit about what has happened in FIFA.”