'Punching Ball' Blatter Vows to Fight Eight-Year FIFA Ban
Joseph Blatter has pledged to fight the eight-year ban handed down to him by FIFA's Ethics Committee with all means at his disposal. He also reiterated earlier assertions that he had done nothing wrong.
The FIFA president told reporters at a press conference in Zurich on Monday that he would go to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport and to a Swiss human rights court in a bid to get his ban on all football-related activities overturned.
"I will fight, for me, for FIFA," said Blatter. "Banned eight years, for what?"
The statement came just minutes after the Ethics Committee of football's world governing body handed down the eight year bans on both him and UEFA President Michel Platini over a dubious 2011 payment worth two million francs (1.85 million euros, $2 million).
"I am still the president," he insisted. "I'm sorry as president of FIFA that I'm this punching ball."
He also railed against the Ethics Committee, saying it had no right to "go against the president of FIFA" and that "something is wrong in this system."
He also expressed disappointment that the Ethics Committee had not informed him personally before releasing the statement about his ban.
"Why are the media informed before me?" he asked.
The ban imposed upon Blatter by the Ethics Committee on Monday took effect immediately, and effectively extended a 90-day provisional suspension, which had been imposed upon him and Platini back in October.
Blatter said earlier this year that he would step down as FIFA president at an extraordinary congress in order for the football governing body to elect his successor on February 26.