Fifa corruption: Sepp Blatter's daughter issues staunch defence of Fifa president's character

Corinne Blatter said the current storm would blow over in 'two or three weeks'

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The Independent Online

Within hours of his tempestuous appointment to serve a fifth term as Fifa president Sepp Blatter was to be found sat on a sofa with a World Cup trophy in the background posing for photographs with his family.

The importance of the close-knit Team Blatter to bolstering the 79-year-old’s 17-year reign at the Zurich headquarters of football’s world governing body was underlined when his daughter issued a staunch defence of her father, claiming he was the victim of a conspiracy to unseat him.

Corinne Blatter, who is the Fifa supremo’s only child, insisted in media interviews that it was not in her father’s character to accept or offer bribes and suggested that the current storm over alleged corruption would blow over in “two or three weeks”.

Mr Blatter has not been directly implicated in the corruption scandal engulfing Fifa but is facing concerted demands to stand down after the unveiling by the FBI of allegations of industrial-scale bribery in the organisation during his tenure.

 

Ms Blatter, 54, who runs an English school in Mr Blatter’s hometown of Visp, softened her father’s insistence this weekend that his troubles were down to grudges borne by the American authorities and the English press.

Asked about who she thought was behind the crisis at Fifa, and whether "dark forces" were involved, she told the BBC: “I wouldn’t say from the Americans and the British, but certainly people working behind the scenes… I don’t know if you want to call them dark forces but I mean they really tried hard.”

The mother-of-one, who revealed that she speaks to her father twice a day, said he had been “deeply affected” by the criticism of recent days.

Mr Blatter claimed that Uefa president Michel Platini had sought to persuade him to resign in a private meeting on Thursday, suggesting they discuss matters over a glass of whisky. Mr Platini, who subsequently called for Mr Blatter to be voted out of office, is claimed to have told the Fifa president: “You can have a giant party and you can keep your office here at Fifa.”

In a separate interview with Swiss newspaper Blick, Ms Blatter said: “If he is attacked personally, then that hurts him very much. The angry words of Mr Platini have particularly hit him.”

It was reported in South Africa that the country had paid $10m (£6.5m) to the football body led by Jack Warner, a key figure in the corruption allegations, though he denies any wrongdoing. Mr Blatter denied this weekend that he had any links with a $10m payment allegedly authorised in Zurich.

Ms Blatter said: “All the money my father earned, he earned it by working. He is a hard working president. All these people who say that he takes money, I don’t know what kind of money he should take. His character is not like that - he’s not taking any money.”

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