Much has been said about Sepp Blatter ever since the corruption saga unfolded. Under pressure from various quarters, he announced his resignation, only to eventually hold tight to his designation of FIFA president.
But even as the calls to quit kept getting louder, Sepp Blatter will continue as FIFA president until February next year despite criminal proceedings against him, his lawyer Richard Cullen has said.
Cullen said that Blatter informed the FIFA staff that he had not done anything ‘illegal or improper’, so he would remain in a position while cooperating with criminal proceedings.
Reacting to the claims that UEFA counterpart Michel Platini had received a ‘disloyal payment’ from Blatter in 2011, the latter said that the payment were valid compensation and properly accounted for within FIFA.
Meanwhile, Platini, who is in the race to replace Blatter for the presidential post, also affirmed that the payments were fully declared by him in accordance with Swiss law.
Platini further said that he was ready to provide all the additional information in order to clear this matter.
Earlier, Swiss prosecutors had opened criminal proceedings against Blatter in the corruption scandal that has plunged the world football’s governing body into an unprecedented crisis.
Blatter had to step down from the helm amidst an investigation into corruption charges after he was re-elected for a fifth term in May.
FIFA’s reputation has been severely tarnished after 14 sports marketing executives and football officials, including several from Zurich-based FIFA, were indicted by the United States in late May over corruption charges.
(with inputs from ANI)