Sepp Blatter has stated Michel Platini still has a strong chance of being elected as his successor at FIFA, with the outgoing president also suggesting he came close to death during a recent health scare.
The pair saw respective appeals against their 90-day suspensions rejected by FIFA’s Ethics Commission last week in relation to an alleged disloyal payment made by FIFA to Platini in 2011.
Both men deny any wrongdoing although any extension to Blatter’s ban would all but end his time as president ahead of elections at the Extraordinary Congress in February next year.
Suspended UEFA president Platini will not have his candidacy for the FIFA role acknowledged while his ban remains in place but Blatter insists the former France international can take world football’s top job.
“Platini is an honest man,” Blatter told RTS in an interview to be aired on Wednesday.
“If he comes back, he will be elected. And then [if] he comes back, I will return too.”
Blatter, 79, was taken into hospital prior to the rejection of his appeal because of a stress-related illness.
The Swiss suggested the pressure of a lengthy corruption scandal that has engulfed FIFA in recent months had brought him close to death.
“I was very close [to death],” he added.
“I was among the angels singing and the devil with the fire. But it was the angels who sang.
“The pressure was enormous. If you are strong mentally, you can resist, but at some point the body says ‘no’, and here the body has reacted badly.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!