The embattled FIFA president, Sepp Blatter who has been the head of world football’s governing body since 1998, has insisted that he has done nothing illegal, saying he plans to remain in the role until February’s elections.
Blatter is under investigation from Swiss authorities over allegations of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation.
The Swiss authorities are examining a contract signed by Blatter with the Caribbean Football Union and an alleged disloyal payment of about $2 million to Michel Platini, the head of European football body UEFA, he made in 2011.
But in a statement from his lawyer Lorenz Erni, Blatter reiterated that he had done nothing illegal or improper and stated that he would remain as president of FIFA.
The statement reads;
“President Blatter spoke to FIFA staff today and informed the staff that he was cooperating with the authorities, reiterated that he had done nothing illegal or improper and stated that he would remain as president of FIFA,”
“On the Michel Platini matter, President Blatter on Friday shared with the Swiss authorities the fact that Mr Platini had a valuable employment relationship with FIFA serving as an advisor to the president beginning in 1998.
“He explained to the prosecutors that the payments were valid compensation and nothing more and were properly accounted for within FIFA including the withholding of Social Security contributions.
“Because of the continuing investigation president Blatter will answer no further questions at this time.”
Meanwhile, Platini, who became president of UEFA in 2007, accepted that his actions may have harmed UEFA, but has no intention of quitting his presidency.
“I am aware that these events may harm my image and reputation and by consequence, the image of UEFA, the organization of which I am proud to be president,”
“For these reasons, I wish to use all my energies to ensure that any issues or misunderstandings can be resolved as soon as possible,”he said.