‘Ha­tred’ de­stroyed Blat­ter

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

GENEVA — Envy and ha­tred among the me­dia is what ru­ined FIFA pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter’s ( pic­tured) rep­u­ta­tion, his daugh­ter said on Sun­day in an in­ter­view pub­lished by the Swiss news­pa­per Blick.

“The me­dia ru­ined his rep­u­ta­tion. Why are they pick­ing on him? What did he do to them? I don’t know,” said Corinne Blat­ter, who was a top ad­vi­sor to her fa­ther as he rose the ranks of world foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body. It’s not just envy. It’s ha­tred,” she was quoted as say­ing.

Blat­ter be­came en­gulfed in the worst-ever scan­dal at FIFA last month when Swiss prose­cu­tors opened a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion against him over mis­man­age­ment.

“I am shocked that he is ac­cused of crim­i­nal acts. My fa­ther is not a crim­i­nal,” Corinne Blat­ter told the pa­per, ac­cord­ing to a ver­sion of the in­ter­view posted on­line.

On Fri­day, FIFA’S top Us-based spon­sors, in­clud­ing Coca-cola, Visa, Mcdon­ald’s and Bud­weiser called for Blat­ter to im­me­di­ately step down, say­ing that his re­main­ing in of­fice was in­hibit­ing ur­gently needed re­form. Blat­ter has said he will go, but only once his re­place­ment is cho­sen at a spe­cial elec­tion in Fe­bru­ary.

“Un­der no cir­cum­stances” will Blat­ter re­main as FIFA’S pres­i­dent af­ter that Fe­bru­ary 26 vote, Corinne said, fol­low­ing pre­vi­ous spec­u­la­tion that her fa­ther may seek to ex­tend his ten­ure.

Many be­lieve, how­ever, that Blat­ter could be forced out in a mat­ter of days, with the Swiss crim­i­nal probe and the uni­fied res­ig­na­tion call from pow­er­ful FIFA spon­sors putting un­prece­dented pres­sure on the 79-year-swiss na­tional, who has led FIFA since 1998.

Swiss in­ves­ti­ga­tors ques­tioned Blat­ter for nearly eight hours on Septem­ber 25, tak­ing a num­ber of breaks, his daugh­ter told the pa­per. — AFP

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