Sepp Blatter is never far from controversy.
Blatter, 80, is currently banned from all soccer activity for the next six years as the former head of FIFA, world’s soccer governing body, was found guilty of an illegal payment between himself and the former head of UEFA Michel Platini.
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To the bitter end Blatter has claimed his innocence, despite FIFA falling to its knees amid widespread corruption and still under huge investigations from both the U.S. and Swiss authorities.
In an interview with Argentine outlet La Nacion, Blatter stated that he saw a draw for a European club competition fixed as hot and cold balls were used to determine which teams were picked out.
He’s being serious.
“Yes. I saw it with my own eyes and it was like cheating,” Blatter said.”It was for a European competition. Only one team has managed that. It was an Italian side. You can see the balls that are drawn identified either by making them hot, or if they have been cooled. I was a witness.”
But Sepp, were you involved in any of this directly?
“I’ve never drawn lots. Other presidents did. They have taken the balls themselves from the pot. I was clean to the last,” Blatter said.
Well, the most concerning thing about this is that the Blatter, the leader of FIFA for over 17 years, did nothing about the alleged fixing he saw first hand. Presumably he was head of soccer governance when this incident occurred. If he saw this, why didn’t he do something?
Now, it’s difficult to know whether to believe Blatter or not. Maybe he’s just trying to stay relevant around the same time both the Copa America Centenario and EURO 2016 is going on. It’s a long shot but maybe, just maybe, he’s telling the truth…