Sepp Blatter has confirmed his life in football is at an end after deciding not to appeal to the Swiss federal courts to clear his name.
The former Fifa president has also spoken about the way in which he feels he has been mistreated as well as the way his successor, Gianni Infantino, is now running FIFA.
The former FIFA president last week failed in his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have his six-year ban from the game overturned and as a result of that defeat, he will have no choice but to accept the verdict.
“This was my last fight in terms of sports law,” he told Le Monde. “I do not want to mix sports law with the common law. I had asked for total acquittal (rather than a reduction). In football, you also learn to lose.”
Blatter said he originally wanted to make a joint appeal with Platini but that the Frenchman was keen for a quick hearing in order to maintain his chance of succeeding Blatter at FIFA.
“I would have liked him and his lawyers to agree to defend our case together,” he said. “But he wanted to go quickly to save his candidacy.”
Despite Platini’s current ban from football, Blatter believes the Frenchman is young enough to stage a comeback.
“Platini is a star,” he said. “He could come back if he wishes. He has only three years of suspension (left). Time flies. He’s young, he’s twenty years younger than me.”
Blatter believes the ongoing corruption scandal that brought him down was partially due to Qatar winning the vote to stage the 2022 World Cup ahead of the United States.
“The two associations who most wanted to have the World Cup, England and the US, are bad losers and then came this US investigation into the confederations of North and South America,” he argued.
“The Americans tried to open things against me. But there is nothing. It was a little gesture of revenge against the Qatar decision.
“I knew that Qatar would win before opening the envelope.
“I have always said that the World Cups are not allocated through gifts or invitations made right and left but due to political influence. If sponsorship had had an influence, the United States would have won, with their large contracts. Qatar would have had no chance.”
Blatter also had another dig at the FIFA ethics committee which cleared his successor, Gianni Infantino, from any wrongdoing during the summer.
“This proves that the ethics committee was not independent,” stated Blatter. “Infantino can choose members of select committees for one year. This calls into question the whole principle of independence. Congress should never have accepted this amendment in May in Mexico City.”
Blatter also lambasted the work done by Infantino since he took over from Blatter last February.
“How can we drastically reduce development programmes, especially in Africa?” he asked. “And how can we say that we no longer need a “task force” against racism? Every two weeks he proposes something else. One example is the World Cup with 40 or 48 teams … The current format with 32 teams is a very good formula. ”
As for Fatma Samoura, FIFA’s new secretary general who was Infantino’s personal choice, Blatter states: “She knows nothing about football.”