The Fifa chief, who recently announced he is stepping down from his position, claims he has a “clear conscience” over allegations of corruption
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has challenged those who claim he is corrupt to prove it amid legal allegations rocking world football’s governing body.
Over a dozen FBI indictments were announced just days before Fifa’s presidential elections in May, with various current and former officials from within the organisation accused of serious financial crimes, including money laundering and racketeering, by the US justice system.
Blatter initially refused to accept any responsibility for the arrests and indictments, insisting Fifa was coordinating with the FBI over the allegations, and was then re-elected for a fifth term at the head of football’s governing body.
But a few days after the election, he unexpectedly announced his intention to stand down, though the Swiss insists suggestions that his decision makes him guilty of corruption are baseless and without any evidence.
“People don’t understand the word they are using when they accuse me of being corrupt,” he told Bunte. “Someone who accuses me of being corrupt must first prove that to be the case.
“But no one can prove I am corrupt, because I’m not. I don’t mind constructive or legitimate criticism, there’s benefits in seeing things differently. But if someone says ‘Blatter is corrupt because Fifa is corrupt’ I can only shake my head at them.
“I have a clear conscience, otherwise I could not look people in the eye when I talk about this topic. The accusations against me have nothing to do with football, they’re an attack on my personal life.”
Blatter added: “My faith has given me strength during the last week. I am a religious person and pray, too. I own a golden cross that has been blessed by Pope Francis. I believe I will go to heaven one day. But I believe there is no hell. I disagree with the pope on that.”