ZURICH, July 6 (IANS): World football governing body FIFA’s Swiss president Sepp Blatter has admitted he would not leave his country as he fears arrest.
FIFA is at the centre of a massive corruption scandal, with the United States’ Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) conducting an investigation into allegations of bribery dating to 1991 already having resulted in the indictment of 14 people, including nine FIFA officials.
The US and Switzerland are also investigation the bidding process of the 2022 and the 2018 World Cup, to be hosted by Russia and Qatar, respectively for bribing and financial wrongdoing.
Blatter himself is under investigation by the US though he has not been charged with any wrongdoing. He has announced his intention to quit FIFA presidency on June 2 just days after being re-elected for the fifth time.
However, despite reiterating his innocence, Blatter confessed that he was too scared of being taken into custody by American authorities to risk attending the final of the women’s World Cup in Canada on Sunday.
“Not because the Americans have anything concrete against me, but because arresting me would cause a public stir,” goal.com quoted Blatter as saying to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag on Sunday, when asked about his travel worries.
“Until everything has been cleared up, I am not going to take the risk of travelling. After the tsunami, I just need a bit of time to recover. Self-doubt is one of the biggest enemies of a leader, but I believe in what I am doing.”
Blatter said he fears that people want to destroy the image of the football body. “I am afraid people want to destroy FIFA, which is mine. Everybody has fears - for example, of dying - but I have nothing to fear in view of my work at FIFA. I am not afraid,” Blatter concluded.