FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes that he is the victim of public harassment, which he puts down to English bitterness and all-round “envy”.
“The envy has turned to hate”, the 79-year-old told Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche.
“People have been trying to paint me as being on the dark side for a long time”, he went on.
Blatter thinks it all goes back to 1974, when England’s Stanley Rous was ousted from the helm of FIFA. “The English suffer because they no longer control football. That’s the root of the attacks on FIFA”, he claimed.
The Swiss also once again denied any blame for the acts of corruption of which several FIFA higher-ups stand accused.
“If my daughter parked her car illegally today, I’d have just as little responsibility as I do for the mistakes, alleged or real, committed by the members of the Executive Committee and other officials”, he stated.
“We can only control our own flows of money at FIFA, and our financial control is exemplary”, he added on the subject of the bribery allegations concerning the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and CONCACAF TV rights deals, among others.
On 20th July the FIFA Executive Committee will set a firm date for the Extraordinary Congress at which Blatter’s successor is supposed to be chosen.