Infantino Ignores My Calls

Ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter has accused successor Gianni Infantino of disrespecting him and says the new head of world football does not answer his phone calls.

The 80-year-old says he has met with Infantino to discuss “questions that should be solved” at Fifa.

“[Infantino] said ‘I will work on that’ and he never came back,” said Blatter.

Blatter’s six-year ban from football was upheld this week after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In a wide-ranging interview with the BBC’s World Football programme, Blatter also said:

His “big mistake” was that he trusts people: “I think people are good, and they are not good”.

He had “antennas everywhere” when Fifa president – a “small intelligence service” – but that they did not foresee the FBI investigation that rocked the organisation.

His breakdown in November 2015 was “like all the house was falling on me”.

He claims doctors thought he was hours from death.

“I am definitely not a happy man [with] what happened with Fifa,” Blatter added.

“I have never seen in any company that the new president… was not playing respect to the old president.

“After his election we had a very good contact and he stopped at my house and we had a chat. I told him I have a list of questions that should be solved in Fifa which has not been solved before.

“I have asked him, I have sent him a letter and I have his personal number and I was told that it’s still correct. Never never an answer – never.

“I still have this list, so now we speak only with lawyers.”

‘They thought I was going to die’

Blatter also spoke candidly about the “small breakdown” he suffered in late 2015 – just weeks after he was suspended by Fifa.

“It was 1 November 2015. I was at the cemetery in my home village – where we have a family grave. And I was there… very, very weak, I couldn’t move.

“They brought me immediately to a hospital in Zurich and they thought I was going to die in the next hours. Seriously.

“It was a lady doctor there and she [asked] me: ‘Who should I phone?’ And I said: ‘No, no, no, I will go home tonight.’ And she said: ‘Oh no.’

“They brought another doctor and he said: ‘OK calm down, calm down.’

“I had time enough in the hospital to think that life is [more] than only football.”

Blatter was forced out of Fifa after he was found to have made a £1.3m “disloyal payment” to ex-Uefa boss Michel Platini. Both deny wrongdoing.

The pair were suspended by Fifa for eight years in December, but the bans were reduced to six years by its appeals committee.

In May, Cas reduced Platini’s ban to four years after he appealed.

Both men say the payment was for consultancy work Platini had done for Blatter between 1998 and 2002, and they had a “gentleman’s agreement” on when the balance would be settled.

The payment is also being looked into by Swiss prosecutors.

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