Sepp Blatter insists FIFA is not corrupt

Written By Matthew Rogerson
SeppBlatter - Cropped
(Getty Images)

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says the organization is not corrupt and that he stepped down from his position to protect the sport's governing body.

Blatter has served as president of FIFA since 1998, but his tenure has been marred by repeated allegations of corruption even prior to the arrests of FIFA officials by Swiss and American authorities in May.

MORE: Possible Blatter replacements | FIFA reform commission leader says U.S. soccer is ethnic sport for girls

The Swiss was re-elected president in the midst of the scandal, but announced his intention to relinquish his mandate as president on June 2 — less than a week after nine FIFA officials were indicted on charges of racketeering conspiracy and corruption.

Blatter's replacement will be elected at an Extraordinary Congress in February and the current incumbent was unequivocal in his response to suggestions that FIFA has been tarnished by the recent allegations.

"That's not true, this has been created. The institution is not corrupt — there is no corruption in football," he told BBC Sport. "There is corruption with individuals, there is not a general organized corruption.

"It is with people, the institution FIFA is not corrupt. It's not the institution, that's why I can't understand why the world's media say FIFA is corrupt."

In a lengthy interview, Blatter also offered his reasoning for stepping down, adding: "I did it because I wanted to protect FIFA. I can protect myself. I am strong enough.

"I know what I have done, what I have not done, I have my conscience and I know I'm an honest man. I am clean. I am not a worried man."

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