Newly re-elected FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, will forgive but not forget the “hate” campaign by UEFA officials prior to Friday’s election.
Blatter defeated Prince Ali bin al-Hussein to win his fifth term as president two days after seven FIFA high-profile officials were arrested on bribery charges in Zurich under a United States of America’s warrant.
But the defiant Blatter told FIFA’s executive committee on Saturday that he is the man to lead the body through the crisis and denied any personal involvement in the alleged acts of bribery.
He then singled out European football’s governing body UEFA and its president, Michel Platini who had called for his resignation because of the scandal, for a mention.
“It is a hate that comes not just from a person at UEFA, it comes from the UEFA organisation that cannot understand that in 1998 I became president,” Blatter told RTS.
His response, when asked whether he would forgive Platini for the resignation calls, was more poignant.
“I forgive everyone but I do not forget.”
Blatter said he suspected the arrests on Wednesday were an attempt to “interfere with the congress” at which he was re-elected.
“There is something that smells,” he said.
“If they have a financial crime that regards American citizens then they must arrest these people there and not in Zurich when we have a congress.”
The 79-year-old also emphasised that the US was the “number one sponsor” of Jordan – the country of his challenger for the FIFA presidency Prince Ali.