Sepp Blatter, the former FIFA president, talked about his desire for the organization to have won the Nobel Peace Prize while he was in charge.
It had been reported in the past that indeed Blatter had sought the prestigious award. The former FIFA president, however, tried to clear matters up and says he did not pursue it on an individual basis. Blatter had hoped that the entire organization’s efforts would be recognized by receiving the distinction.
“We had meetings with the Nobel prize organization,” Blatter tells the Guardian. “I was there, and what I was asking, really asking, was for the Nobel Prize: for football, not for a man. It is the movement, for FIFA.”
Blatter’s time in charge of the International Federation ended in 2015. It was argued that FIFA had made an unauthorized payment of 2 million Swiss Francs to Michel Platini, who at the time acted as UEFA president. The two officials received an eight-year suspension, which was later cut down to six years after appeal.
The 81-year-old Blatter also says that following the investigation that led to his dismissal from FIFA, he suffered a physical breakdown.
“I had this collapse on 1 November and this was at the cemetery,” Blatter tells reporters. “The Catholics, we always go to the cemetery to pay honor to our parents, all the families in the same grave, and I was there, I felt very bad at that time. They brought me immediately back to Zurich in a clinic; my immune system had collapsed.”
“Of the scandal that cost him his gilded status, he added: “I was not bitter, I was shocked. And I have never recuperated about the shock.”
The former FIFA president says he has not remained bitter over what happened, but rather that he was shocked at the way the events developed. Finally, Blatter says he feels it was unfair for him to take the majority of the blame for the events since the investigation also looked at the involvement of several regional representatives. “So why the hell then should the FIFA president bear all the charges, the responsibility and the blame?”