Sepp Blatter, the embattled current FIFA president, has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing in the ongoing bribery and money laundering scandal engulfing those closest to him. However, since his re-election to anther term as FIFA president, Blatter has not been seen outside of his native Switzerland.
Could it be fear of arrest himself? Many have speculated that was exactly what was happening, and when Blatter refused to show up for the final of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday it was plain to see he was scared of something.
Now we all have confirmation of the suspected reality, as Blatter admitted his travel restrictions are out of a fear of arrest in a story to the Associated Press.
Sepp Blatter admits he won't take any "travel risks" right now. In other words, skipping WWC final to avoid arrest http://t.co/malPAZ1EFJ
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 5, 2015
“Until everything is clarified I won’t take any travel risks,” Blatter said to the AP.
However, he also indicated that those nations willing to give him safe harbor are going to get visits. That’s because Blatter has made it known he’ll be heading to Russia, where extradition to the United States isn’t exactly on the top of the list of things to do, for the 2018 World Cup qualification draw in December.
What possible reason could Blatter have to avoid traveling to something like the U-20 World Cup or the summer’s biggest event on the FIFA calendar, the 2015 Women’s World Cup?
All it does is prove that he still is hiding something, and likely of the criminal variety.
One wouldn’t know it by the way Blatter continues to go about his business though. He still stands strong in his language and attacks those who want to “bring FIFA down.”
“Everyone has fears, for example of death, but with regard to my work at FIFA I have no fear. I’ve nothing to be afraid of,” said Blatter, via the AP.
“I’m afraid that they want to wreck FIFA, a work that I helped create,” the 79-year-old said.
The they he was referring to? The American prosecutors putting forth the investigation and arrest of FIFA officials, that’s whom.
Seriously? It’s the American government’s fault and they are the ones out to get FIFA — that’s what we are led to believe is the reasoning behind the arrests and ongoing investigation. Nevermind seeing unethical and illegal activity going on all around him and realizing that the house of cards is coming down because of his leadership.
It’s classic Blatter though, as he circles the wagons around him and looks to shield himself from any possible harm by throwing others under the bus.
He did it in his latest statements too, citing German and French political influence on the vote for Qatar in the 2022 World Cup.
“Messrs Sarkozy and Wulff tried to influence their voting representatives. That’s why we now have a World Cup in Qatar. Those who decided it should take responsibility for it,” said Blatter, who said he was tired of taking the blame for something he had no control over.
“I act on the leadership principal. If a majority of the executive committee wants a World Cup in Qatar then I have to accept that,” Blatter said.
So now it is Germany and France’s fault that the World Cup is in Qatar for 2022. It couldn’t have anything at all to do with those in your inner circle that just got arrested on bribery charges Messr. Blatter. Nah, that would be too close to telling the truth for that man.
We’re expected to believe that Blatter is a powerless man with no influence over the goings on of his organization. If there’s one thing we know about FIFA under Blatter, it is that nothing…and we mean NOTHING…gets done on a major scale without Blatter’s approval beforehand.
If we’re to believe what Blatter is selling us, then his powerless presidency is the exact reason he needs to be booted from his position then.
Personally, I’m not buying what Blatter is selling — about his innocence or lack of organizational control — and neither should you.
Then again, should any of this surprise soccer fans? Sadly, this is par for the course with Blatter, but just another example of why he needs to be removed from power when the next election comes up (sometime in December through March).