Sepp Blatter does not feel justice has been done after receiving an eight-year suspension by FIFA’s Independent Ethics Committee on Monday.
The outgoing president and vice-president Michel Platini were handed provisional 90-day bans in October after a payment of two million Swiss francs made by FIFA to the Frenchman, authorised by Blatter, in 2011 – reportedly for consultancy work – formed part of a criminal investigation.
The pair’s assertions of an oral agreement as the basis for the deal were labelled “not convincing” by the Ethics Committee, which determined they had breached rules on offering and accepting gifts and other benefits and subsequently imposed eight-year bans.
Blatter has already confirmed he will appeal the decision, which he called unjust, and remains adamant he has never been involved in bribery.
“By saying it’s a bribe is totally wrong… never in my life would I offer money to get something,” he told Sky News.
“It is wrong, it is not justice. Saying I have bribed someone is absolutely wrong as it’s against my conscience, my heart, my will, my soul. I cannot accept that because it’s not true and what is not true cannot be proven.
“I am not so sure [if I will preside over the February elections] because it depends how long it takes to get past these hurdles.”
Blatter was admitted to hospital in November with a stress-related illness and claimed he nearly died as a result of the scandal.
“I was nearby [to death],” he continued.
“It was because my health could not resist it and one day I collapsed. It was the whole situation that produced that.”