In Brief

Michel Platini will resign at Uefa's next congress

Former player 'deeply disappointed' as he fails to overturn 'disloyal payment' punishment

Fifa chief Sepp Blatter in  hospital after 'breakdown'

3 December

Suspended Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been admitted to hospital after suffering a "small breakdown".

The 79-year-old Swiss was taken to hospital after telling his spokesman: "My brain and heart are fine, but my body is letting me down," reports Sky News. It adds that although he wanted to remain at home doctors decided he needed to be examined.

"It is understood he suffered what has been called 'a nervous shock' but is expected to make a full recovery," says the BBC. "Blatter is said by friends to be able to communicate, and is likely to be treated until next Tuesday."

Last week the head of football's governing body was ordered to take a week off work after being diagnosed with stress, reports The Guardian. "The 79-year-old had consulted a doctor after feeling unwell and, although no underlying problem was discovered, he was then told to rest." After the latest development he is "likely to be supervised by doctors for several days", it adds.

Blatter has led Fifa for 16 years but is facing a criminal investigation over corruption allegations. He and Uefa president Michel Platini were suspended for 90-days by the scandal-hit organisation last month. Blatter is accused of making a "disloyal payment" to Platini and is also being investigated over the sale of World Cup TV rights to disgraced former Caribbean football chief Jack Warner.

He denies all the allegations against him.

Blatter was re-elected as Fifa president earlier this year despite the dramatic arrests of senior officials during Fifa's congress in Zurich. But as the allegations against football's governing body snowballed, Blatter said he would "relinquish" his role and announced new elections in early 2016.

Blatter: Platini undermined Fifa deal for 2022 World Cup in US

28 October

Sepp Blatter has claimed the crisis that engulfed Fifa was precipitated by Michel Platini and the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy who, he says, orchestrated Qatar's victory in the race to host the 2022 World Cup after it had been "agreed" that the US would be hosts.

He made the astonishing allegation in an interview with Russian news agency Tass in which he also described himself as a "ball in the big political power game", and said that his success at Fifa had provoked "envy and jealousy" in Europe, prompting concerted efforts to discredit him.

He also slammed Fifa's ethics committee, which has banned him for 90 days over corruption allegations, declaring their decision a "nonsense" as he had not been allowed to defend himself. He said: "I put these people into the office... I called them for the principles of the human rights: before [you are] suspended or excluded from somewhere you have the right to answer and they have denied [me] this."

In another extraordinary exchange, the octogenarian Swiss appears to claim credit for the reform process that has been started at Fifa and branded Britain "sore losers" over the 2018 World Cup and accused the media of whipping up the campaign against his regime.

"Sepp Blatter has either officially lost the plot, or he's just gone on a rant and has decided to spill the beans," says NBC Sports. "Either way, the outcome is mind-boggling.

"The man who has led Fifa for nearly two decades and allowed widespread corruption to go on under his nose finally seems to be backed into a corner. He doesn't like it all and is coming out swinging in the final few months of his beleaguered presidency."

Here are some of the key quotes from the interview:

  • On the crisis at Fifa: "Uefa did not want me as the president. It was a conducted attack on the Fifa president. But the other confederations, they were with me... Even with this tsunami I was re-elected as president."
  • "[Platini] started it, but then it became politics. And when it is in politics, it is not any longer Platini against me. It is then those who have lost the World Cup. England against Russia. They lost the World Cup. And the USA lost the World Cup against Qatar. But you cannot destroy Fifa."
  • "The Fifa president is a ball in the big political power game."
  • "Since I became president of Fifa, we have made Fifa a big commercial company. And this naturally provokes envy and jealousy."
  • "If you open the newspapers, if you open the television, every day it said 'Blatter must go'. The victim of all that finally is Platini."
  • On his suspension: "This is not justice. I put these people into the office, where they are now in the ethics committee and they don't even have  the courage to listen to the secretary general, Platini or me."
  • "You see, the reform committee, which is working now, they work on my agenda. I gave to this committee what they have to do."
  • "Uefa is affected by anti-Fifa virus for years before my presidency. They have an anti-Fifa virus."
  • On why did not stand down after the 2014 World Cup: "The other confederations were afraid that Uefa will take over everything because they have the money and the players. And that's why they said, 'Blatter, stay'. And I said that I'll stay."
  • On the 2022 World Cup: "It was agreed that we go to Russia because it's never been in Russia, eastern Europe, and for 2022 we go back to America… And everything was good until the moment when Sarkozy came in a meeting with the crown prince of Qatar... And at a lunch afterwards with Mr Platini he said it would be good to go to Qatar. And this has changed all pattern."
  • "If the USA was given the World Cup, we would only speak about the wonderful World Cup 2018 in Russia and we would not speak about any problems at Fifa."


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